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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 201696, 12 pages
Review Article

The Recent Understanding of the Neurotrophin's Role in Skeletal Muscle Adaptation

1Research Center for Physical Fitness, Sports and Health, Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka, Tenpaku-cho, Toyohashi 441-8580, Japan
2School of Dentistry, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Kanazawa, Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293, Japan

Received 27 May 2011; Accepted 24 July 2011

Academic Editor: Aikaterini Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos

Copyright © 2011 Kunihiro Sakuma and Akihiko Yamaguchi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper summarizes the various effects of neurotrophins in skeletal muscle and how these proteins act as potential regulators of the maintenance, function, and regeneration of skeletal muscle fibers. Increasing evidence suggests that this family of neurotrophic factors influence not only the survival and function of innervating motoneurons but also the development and differentiation of myoblasts and muscle fibers. Muscle contractions (e.g., exercise) produce BDNF mRNA and protein in skeletal muscle, and the BDNF seems to play a role in enhancing glucose metabolism and may act for myokine to improve various brain disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and major depression). In adults with neuromuscular disorders, variations in neurotrophin expression are found, and the role of neurotrophins under such conditions is beginning to be elucidated. This paper provides a basis for a better understanding of the role of these factors under such pathological conditions and for treatment of human neuromuscular disease.