Heart failure (HF) is associated with aberrant skeletal muscle impairments, which are closely linked to the severity of HF. A low level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a myokine produced in the skeletal muscle, is known to be involved in reduced exercise capacity and poor prognosis in HF. However, little is known about the factors or conditions of skeletal muscle associated with BDNF levels. We investigated the association between serum BDNF levels and the skeletal muscle mass and function in HF patients (n = 60, 63 ± 13 years) and age-matched controls (n = 29, 61 ± 16 years). The serum BDNF level was significantly lower in the HF patients compared to the controls (24.9 ± 0.9 versus 28.6 ± 1.3, P = 0.021). In a univariate analysis, BDNF was significantly correlated with the peak oxygen uptake, estimated glomerular filtration rate, 10-m gait speed, and muscle strength, but not with the body mass index or lean mass in the HF group. A multiple linear regression analysis revealed that BDNF was independently associated with muscle strength (β-coefficient = 2.80, 95%CI: 1.89-11.8, P = 0.008). Serum BDNF levels were associated with exercise capacity and skeletal muscle function, but not with muscle mass. These novel findings may suggest that BDNF production is controlled by muscle function and activity and consequently regulates exercise capacity, highlighting the importance of adequate training regarding skeletal muscle in HF patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine