HNH-31206 Immunometabolism

Code last year: (HNE-31206)


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. R Stienstra
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. R Stienstra
Examiner(s)dr. ir. R Stienstra

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

A basis in Human Immunology and Human Nutrition is expected

Continuation courses:

Thesis Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics


Our understanding of molecular pathways that govern energy metabolism and immunology have evolved
largely in parallel. However, current evidence points to a close interplay between immunological and
metabolic processes. First, it has been established that obesity results in the activation of the innate
and adaptive immune system and promotes the development of metabolic abnormalities, culminating in increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Second, it is now clear
that the behaviour of cells of our immune system including monocytes, macrophages and lymphocytes is
largely determined by the status their intracellular energy metabolism.
This course will provide an in depth coverage of the concept of immunometabolism. The course will
specifically focus on the molecular mechanisms governing metabolism that underlie immune cell
functioning including oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis. Metabolic and immune-related pathways intersect at numerous levels. Their common regulation is effectuated by several hormonal signaling routes that involve specific nuclear hormone receptors and adipokines including PPARs and leptin/adiponectin that will be discussed during the course.
Finally, the concept of immunometabolism will be applied to various conditions ranging from our host response towards infection to the development of obesity and related complications.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the concept of immunometabolism ;
- demonstrate detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying energy metabolism and immunology and its contribution to our host response and the development of diabetes and obesity;
- discuss mechanisms to modulate metabolism to curtail the immune response ;
- synthesize diverse pieces of scientific data into a coherent conclusion;
- appreciate the usefulness and limitations of animal experimentation and in vitro studies for biomedical research;
- design a research proposal based on acquired knowledge during lectures and through a search of scientific literature.


To reach these objectives, the student will:
- answer problem sets;
- prepare and follow lectures;
- search and read relevant original research papers;
- design and present a research proposal.


Written test with open questions. In addition, the weekly questions sessions and research proposal will be part of the examination.The weight of each component is elaborated in the course guide.


No text book available. The content of the slides and scientific articles are being used.

For background information related to metabolism or immunology, students can use different textbooks inlcuding 'Biochemistry' from Stryer et al. or Roitt's Essential Immunology.

Restricted Optional for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology2AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status2AF