Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Its Associations with Metabolism and Physical Activity in a Latino Sample

Rodrigo Fonseca-Portilla, Janina Krell-Roesch, Gabriel Q. Shaibi, Richard J. Caselli, Lawrence J. Mandarino, Nan Zhang, Joseph G. Hentz, Dawn K. Coletta, Elena Anna De Filippis, Sara Dawit, Yonas E. Geda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with body weight and other health conditions but remains understudied in the Latino population. The aim of this study was to examine the associations of BDNF serum levels with body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and the rs6265 nonconservative polymorphism among 349 Latinos aged ≥18 years enrolled in the Arizona Insulin Resistance Registry. Materials and Methods: Data on physical activity were acquired using a self-reported questionnaire. BDNF serum levels were measured utilizing a modified ELISA method, and the rs6265 polymorphism was genotyped by the Assay-by-Design service. Two sample t-tests or chi-squared tests were employed to compare demographics and outcomes between physically active and nonactive groups as well as between rs6265 CC and CT+TT groups. Results: BDNF levels and rs6265 polymorphism did not differ significantly between the physically active (N = 195) and nonactive group (N = 154). Participants with the rs6265 polymorphism did not show any significant difference in BDNF levels or BMI when compared with those with the normal functional variant. Higher BDNF levels were significantly associated with higher age (r = 0.11, P = 0.04) and higher 2-hr glucose level (r = 0.11, P = 0.04). Conclusions: In this cross-sectional study, the rs6265 polymorphism was not associated with a higher risk of obesity, or lower circulating levels of BDNF. Thus, the rs6265 polymorphism may have a different impact in Latinos as compared with other previously studied populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalMetabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • BDNF
  • Latinos
  • metabolism
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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