The serum levels of growth factors: PDGF, TGF-beta and VEGF are increased after strenuous physical exercise

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Jun;57(2):189-97.


Strenuous physical exercise induces muscle fibers damage and non-specific inflammatory response. Activated by inflammatory process cells may serve as the source of wide spectrum of inflammatory mediators and growth factors. Namely Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF), Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-beta) and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) could be released. The aim of present study was to assess the impact of physical exercise on growth factors generation in healthy young people. 14 young sportsmen were enrolled into the study. They performed strenuous physical exercise. Blood samples were drawn before, immediately after, and 2 hours after the exercise bout. Serum PDGF, TGF-beta and VEGF concentrations were measured using commercially available ELISA kit based on immunoenzimatic method. Serum level of PDGF increased significantly from 1.7 ng/ml before to 4.64 ng/ml (2.73-fold) immediately after, and to 3.3 ng/ml (1.94-fold) 2 hours after exertion. Serum level of TGF-beta increased significantly from 20.58 ng/ml before to 55.37 ng/ml (2.7-fold) immediately after, and to 40.03 ng/ml (1.95-fold) 2 hours after exertion. Serum level of VEGF increased significantly from 91.83 pg/ml before to 165.61 pg/ml (1.8-fold) immediately after the exercise. Two hours after the exertion serum level of VEGF was 137.22 pg/ml, what is 1.49-fold above the basal level; however not being significantly different. In summery, observed increased level of growth factors could be involved in the process of adaptation of human organism to physical training. In addition, in the context of the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of various diseases, our results point to the potentially deleterious effect of strenuous physical exercise.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bicycling / physiology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology
  • Growth Substances / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Serum / chemistry
  • Serum / metabolism*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / blood


  • Growth Substances
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A