Impact of Job Types on Plasma Neurotrophins Levels: A Preliminary Study in Airline Pilots, Construction Workers, and Fitness Instructors.

  Vol. 44 (7) 2023 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2023; 44(7): 439-443 PubMed PMID:  37874553    Citation

BACKGROUND: Neurotrophins (NTs) encompass a group of closely associated proteins regulating various aspects of neuronal growth and survival. The potential association between work-related factors and the levels of circulating NTs has not been extensively examined. In this preliminary investigation, we evaluated plasma concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) in a cohort of healthy individuals from three distinct professional categories, each with unique work environments and lifestyle factors. METHODS: The study involved 60 men from three professional fields: airline pilots, construction laborers, and fitness trainers (20 participants per category) recruited during routine occupational health appointments. Plasma levels of NTs were measured using commercially available immunoassays and compared in the three professional groups. RESULTS: Among the professions studied, fitness instructors displayed the highest concentrations of BDNF and NGF, with airline pilots ranking second, and construction workers showing the lowest levels. Significantly decreased NT-3 levels were observed in airline pilots compared to fitness instructors and construction workers, but no differences were found between the latter two occupations. NT-4 levels were similar across all three occupational groups. CONCLUSIONS: Our pilot results suggest that plasma concentrations of NTs, which are involved in various aspects of neuronal and cognitive functioning, may display significant differences among healthy individuals depending on their occupation. These observations warrant additional research to explore potential implications for the field of occupational medicine.

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