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. VCJ de Boer
dr. KJ Teerds
prof. dr. ir. J Keijer
dr. S Timmers
I van der Stelt, MSc
Examiner(s)I van der Stelt, MSc
prof. dr. ir. J Keijer

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

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 poster and 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 metabolism and its link to the gut-brain axis;
- setup an experiment to demonstrate the GDF15 response in multiple cell types in response to a trigger and interpret the results;


- apart from lectures also tutorials, a poster 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.


PDF files of the lectures
Lecture notes, tutorial content and practical manual.
Scientific articles.
To be announced

Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScC: Spec. C - Health and Disease5MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScE: Spec. E - Molecule, Cell and Organ Functioning5MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScB: Spec. B - Nutrition and Metabolism5MO
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScA: Spec. A Biomedical Research5MO
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScB: Spec. B Biological Chemistry5MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScE: Spec. E - Systems Approach for Sustainable and Healthy Diets5MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Spec. B - Nutritional Physiology and Health Status5MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Spec. C - Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology5MO