Effects of preconditioning or following exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF): A systematic review in animal models of multiple sclerosis‏

Document Type : Review Articles


1 Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Humanestic, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Sport Sciences, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a vital role in the brain. On the other hand, researchers showed that exercise may cause more release of BDNF and thus have a positive effect on the brain. Studies have reported controversial findings in multiple sclerosis, and there are no broad conclusions on this topic. This study aims to systematically investigate the effect of exercise training on BDNF concentration in multiple sclerosis animal models. Searches were conducted in the electronic databases of PubMed, Scopus, Medline, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar search engine to obtain the related articles about the role of exercise training on BDNF levels just in animal models of multiple sclerosis. All of the database searches were limited to the period from inception to February 2021. Two reviewers extracted study details and data. The methodological quality of the studies that used animal models was assessed using the PEDro Scale. Fourteen articles were included in this review with scores from 7/10 to 8/10 according to the PEDro scale. Five articles reported elevation, one article reported a reduction; and eight articles reported no changes in BDNF level following or preconditioning exercise training in model of multiple sclerosis. The findings of this study showed that aerobic exercise increases changes in central BDNF concentration in multiple sclerosis in animal model.

What is already known on this subject?

The results of various researches are conflicting and despite the known positive effects of exercise on BDNF in people with MS, the best exercise protocol is still under discussion.


What this study adds?

Aerobic exercise can increase the changes in central BDNF concentration in MS animal models, while BDNF responses following non-aerobic exercises, such as resistance training or a combination of resistance and aerobic training, are still controversial.


Main Subjects





Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest The author declare that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval Not applicable.

Informed consent Not applicable.

Author contributions

Conceptualization: S.E.; Methodology: S.E.; Software: Z.H.F.; Validation: Z.H.F.; Formal analysis: M.D.; Investigation: .M.D.; Resources: Z.H.F.; Data curation: S.E.; Writing - original draft: S.E, Z.H.F, M.D.; Writing - review & editing: S.E, Z.H.F, M.D.; Visualization: S.E, Z.H.F, M.D.; Supervision: Z.H.F.; Project administration: S.E.; Funding acquisition: S.E

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