Comparing interval and continuous exercise training regimens on neurotrophic factors in rat brain

Physiol Behav. 2015 Aug 1:147:78-83. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.04.012. Epub 2015 Apr 11.


The research literature suggests that oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory factors influence neurotrophins in vitro. However, there is insufficient information about their effects on exercise training conditions, especially during high intensity trainings. This study aimed to compare the effects of 6weeks of high intensity interval and continuous training regimens on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in the rat brain. For this purpose, twenty-four Albino Wistar rats were divided into sedentary control (SC), high intensity interval training (HIIT), and continuous training (CT) groups. Both HIIT and CT regimens increased H2O2 level and TNF-α concentration in the brain, and the alterations made were greater following HIIT than CT. In addition, both HIIT and CT regimens increased BDNF and GDNF concentrations significantly, with a higher elevation following HIIT than CT. Furthermore, H2O2 level and TNF-α concentration correlated positively with both BDNF and GDNF concentrations. Generally, high intensity interval training regimen, rather than continuous training regimen, is highly potential to improve BDNF and GDNF through a greater increase in H2O2 and TNF-α as oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory factors.

Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Continuous training; Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor; Hydrogen peroxide; Interval training; Tumor necrosis factor alpha.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors


  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Hydrogen Peroxide