HAP-30806 Brain, Hormones and Metabolism


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work2
Independent study3
Course coordinator(s)I van der Stelt, MSc
dr. KJ Teerds
Lecturer(s)dr. KJ Teerds
I van der Stelt, MSc
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. J Keijer
I van der Stelt, MSc

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

EZO-10306 Human and Animal Biology I; HAP-20306 Human and Animal Biology, part 2; HAP-21806 Behavioural Endocrinology.


During the course Brain Hormones and Metabolism different aspects of brain function with specific emphasis on the physiological aspects, will be discussed. The course is subdivided in 5 themes, namely morphology of the brain, the aging brain, mitochondrial basis of brain diseases, brain-muscle communication and brain-gut communication. Theme 1-3 are related to the (aging) brain, and are considered to be fundamental knowledge of the brain and brain-related conditions. Theme 4 and 5 focus on the role of the brain in the functioning of periferal organs (intestine and muscle). An important part of the course will involve a research project-oriented lab cycle. As part of this cycle, students will perform a research project linked to the themes of the course; the results of this research project will be presented in a report.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- interpret and analyse how neurons in the brain communicate with each other and how these signals influence peripheral target organs and vise versa;

- explain the role of the AMPA and NMDA receptors in memory formation, and explain the molecular basis of memory-related illnesses;
- explain the role of mitochondria in neural cell function and how it relates to brain diseases;
- interpret and analyse how the brain controls skeletal muscle function, and how this is altered by fatigue and aging;
- analyse and integrate the effects of peripheral hunger and satiety signals to feeding circuits in the brain with specific emphasis on the hypothalamic neurons;
- explain the role of microbiota in metabolism and link this to the gut-brain axis;
- setup an experiment to demonstrate the response of different cell types to media from other cell types;
- interpret the expression of GDF15 in different cell types after switching media.


- apart from lectures also tutorials and a practical report (group work) are part of the course;
- practicals in (neuro)physiology are used to deepen the knowledge.


- written test with 10 to 15 open questions (70%);
- practical report (30%).
For the practical report a minimal mark of 5.5 is required. The minimal requirement for the exam is a 5.5. When both requirements are met, the course has been completed succesfully.


Apart from hand-outs.
Lecture notes and study manual.
To be announced

Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScC: Human and Animal Health Biology5MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScE: Molecule, Cell and Organ Functioning5MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScB: Nutrition and Metabolism5MO
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScA: Biomedical Research5MO
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScB: Biological Chemistry5MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status5MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology5MO