Brain, Hormones and MetabolismOrganization logo: Wageningen University & Research

About this course

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 and a report needs to be written.

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 cell lines in response to a trigger and interpret the results

Prior knowledge

Mandatory Knowledge:
ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety
Assumed Knowledge:
EZO10306 Human and Animal Biology I; HAP20306 Human and Animal Biology, part 2; HAP21806 Behavioural Endocrinology.

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    11 maart 2024

    • Ends
      3 mei 2024
    • Term *
      Period 5
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 11 Feb 2024
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University