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Int J Med Sci 2012; 9(9):772-777. doi:10.7150/ijms.5063

Research Paper

Plasma Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor in Hemodialysis Patients

Seok Joon Shin1, Hye Eun Yoon1, Sungjin Chung1, Yong Gu Kim2, Dai-Jin Kim3✉

1. Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
2. Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea
3. Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


Objective: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin which modulates neuronal survival and proliferation. Recently, plasma BDNF is associated with inflammatory conditions. The present study was to investigate the changes of the plasma BDNF level in hemodialysis patients and to evaluate the relationship between the plasma BDNF and uremic inflammation.

Method: We measured the plasma BDNF, serum IL-2, IL-4, IFN-γ and TNF-α in hemodialysis patients and control subjects. In addition, we investigated the associations of the plasma BDNF with clinical or biochemical parameters.

Results: The plasma BDNF level was significantly higher in hemodialysis patients than in the control subjects (median, 312.3 vs. 630.3 pg/ml, p < 0.05). In subgroup analysis, hemodialysis patients with diabetes showed higher values of the plasma BDNF than the patients without diabetes. However, there were no significant differences in age and gender subgroups of the hemodialysis patients. The logBDNF was positively correlated with hs-CRP and IFN-γ, and negatively correlated with serum albumin. In multivariate regression analysis, the logBDNF was independently associated with the presence of diabetes (β-coefficient = 0.399, p = 0.041) and IFN-γ (β-coefficient = 0.538, p = 0.003).

Conclusion: The plasma BDNF may increase in hemodialysis patients, and more prominently in the patients with diabetes. Furthermore, the plasma BDNF might reflect inflammatory condition in hemodialysis patients.

Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Cytokine, Hemodialysis, Uremia, Inflammation

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Shin SJ, Yoon HE, Chung S, Kim YG, Kim DJ. Plasma Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor in Hemodialysis Patients. Int J Med Sci 2012; 9(9):772-777. doi:10.7150/ijms.5063. Available from