Article Title



Caitlyn White1, Katie Kennedy2, Ryan Colquhoun1, Neil Schwarz1. 1University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL. 2Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

BACKGROUND: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin hormone involved in neuronal plasticity. BDNF increases due to acute resistance exercise, but much remains to be elucidated to determine the factors affecting the magnitude of the change in acute circulating BDNF. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between resistance training volume and circulating BDNF. METHODS: Twenty-three participants (16M; 7F) donated blood prior to and immediately after a resistance training exercise bout. Blood samples were processed to obtain normal plasma (NP) and platelet-poor plasma (PPP). Relative resistance training volume was calculated as number of reps performed multiplied by percentage of 1-RM (training intensity) and volume load was calculated as total reps multiplied by absolute training load. Pearson correlation tests were performed to determine the relationship between resistance training volumes and delta BDNF values from pre-to-post exercise for each sample type. Significance was set a priori at p = 0.05. RESULTS: Overall, there were no significant associations between the delta BDNF values and relative training volume or volume load for any sample type (all p > 0.05). However, when only female participants were analyzed, there was a statistically significant, strong positive correlation between acute NP response and relative training volume, r(5) = .90, p < .01, with relative training volume explaining 81% of the variation in acute NP response. Further, there were statistically significant, strong positive correlations between acute PPP response and relative training volume, r(5) = .91, p < .01, and acute PPP response and volume load, r(5) = .77, p < .05, with relative training volume explaining 82% of the variation and volume load explaining 59% of the variation in acute PPP response. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, acute pre-to-post exercise changes in circulating BDNF were not associated with relative resistance training volume or volume load. However, when differentiated by sex, higher resistance training volumes were associated with a greater acute increase in plasma BDNF concentrations in female participants. No such association was found in male participants. Further research is necessary to determine if resistance training volume differentially affects plasma circulating BDNF in females compared with males when larger sample sizes are considered.

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