The effects of a 20-week exercise program on blood-circulating biomarkers related to brain health in overweight or obese children: The ActiveBrains project
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AuthorRodríguez Ayllon, María; Plaza Florido, Abel Adrián; Mendez Gutierrez, Andrea; Altmäe, Signe; Solís Urra, Patricio; Aguilera García, Concepción María; Catena Martínez, Andrés; Ortega Porcel, Francisco Bartolomé; Esteban Cornejo, Irene
Brain developmentChildhoodMRIPhysical Activity
M. Rodriguez-Ayllon et al. The effects of a 20-week exercise program on blood-circulating biomarkers related to brain health in overweight or obese children: The ActiveBrains project. Journal of Sport and Health Science 12 (2023) 175-185[https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2022.12.007]
SponsorshipSpanish Government DEP2017-91544-EXP; Spanish Government DEP2013-47540 DEP2016-79512-R PID2020-120249RB-I00; European Regional Development Fund (ERDF; FEDER in Spanish); European Commission European Commission Joint Research Centre 667302; Andalusian Operational Programme - ERDF B-CTS-355-UGR18 B- CTS-500-UGR18 A-CTS-614-UGR20; University of Granada, Plan Propio de Investigacion 2016, Excellence actions: Units of Excellence; Unit of Excellence on Exercise and Health (UCEES); Junta de Andalucia; Regional Ministry of Knowledge, Science, and Universities; European Commission SOMM17/6107/UGR RYC2019-027287-I 72180543; School of Medicine, Complutense University of Madrid; Mother-Child Health and Development Network (Red SAMID) III network; Redes tematicas de Investigacion Cooperativa en Salud (RETICS) - PN I+D+I 2017-2021 (Spain); Ramon Areces Foundation; Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain (MICINN) Spanish Government RYC-2016-21199; Agencia Nacional de Investigacion y Desarrollo from Chile SAF2017-87526-R; Spanish Ministry Universities FPU16/03653; Junta de Andalucia; Spanish Government PAIDI P20_00158 PAIDI P20_00124 FPU 16/02760
Background: Emerging research supports the idea that exercise positively affects neurodevelopment. However, the mechanisms linking exercise with brain health are largely unknown. We aimed to investigate the effect of exercise on (a) blood biomarkers selected based on previous evidence (brainderived neurotrophic factor, b-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), cathepsin B (CTSB), kynurenine, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1)); and (b) a panel of 92 neurology-related proteins (discovery analysis). We also investigated whether changes in these biomarkers mediate the effects of exercise on brain health (hippocampal structure and function, cognitive performance, and mental health). Methods: We randomized 81 overweight/obese children (10.1 § 1.1 years, 41% girls) into 2 groups: either 20 weeks of aerobic plus resistance exercise or control. Candidate biomarkers were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for kynurenine, FGF21, and CTSB; colorimetry for b-hydroxybutyrate; and XMap for brain-derived neurotrophic factor and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1. The 92 neurology-related proteins were analyzed by an antibody-based proteomic analysis. Results: Our intervention had no significant effect on candidate biomarkers (all p > 0.05). In the discovery analysis, a reduction in circulating macrophage scavenger receptor type-I was observed (standardized differences between groups = 0.3, p = 0.001). This effect was validated using ELISA methods (standardized difference = 0.3, p = 0.01). None of the biomarkers mediated the effects of exercise on brain health. Conclusions: Our study does not support a chronic effect of exercise on candidate biomarkers. We observed that while chronic exercise reduced the levels of macrophage scavenger receptor type-I, it did not mediate the effects of exercise on brain health. Future studies should explore the implications of this novel biomarker for overall health.