Biorhythms in Homeostasis
Full course description
The ability to maintain homeostasis is a prerequisite for life in general. Embedded in homeostatic control lays rhythmic control which help to maintain body and cellular function, but are also important to adjust the human body to rhythms that are enforced on us by nature, of which day and night is the best-known example. Next to these environmental factors, also other external stimuli threaten homeostasis of the human body.
During this course, the knowledge gained from the first-year course "Homeostasis and organ systems" (BBS1002) will be refreshed and extended. The basic principles of hormonal, neural and other regulation systems will be studied around the overarching theme of body weight regulation. The regulation of body weight starts at the level of the nucleus and cell, where gene transcription is regulated by the molecular clock, leading to rhythmicity in gene expression patterns. At the organ level, hormones, including adipokines are secreted to regulate metabolic processes that are involved in the maintenance of body weight. At a macro level, body weight is also regulated by patterns of physical activity, food intake and energy homeostasis (supply and demand). A complicating factor in body weight regulation in humans are societal, cultural and environmental factors that also affect body weight, and these environmental factors may be exposed on us in a rhythmic manner too. Students will learn the basics of the regulation factors in the form of six cases, supported by one lecture per theme. An important part of the course consists of applying knowledge in projects, around five different themes. In every theme, approximately 5 students will work together. The product of the project teams is two-fold: a symposium (oral and poster presentation) for peers and stakeholders (patients, industrial partners, lay people, health professionals etc.).
- B-ILO1 Understands the concept of regulatory systems and how positive and negative feedback systems function in maintaining homeostasis
- B-ILO2 Understands the concept of rhythmicity at different levels (molecular, circadian, seasonal) and how this affects regulatory systems
- B-ILO3 Integrates short- and long-term regulatory systems and rhythmicity into body weight regulation
- B-ILO4 Argues how challenges to the control system result in dysregulation and adaptation to a new set-point which can be modulated by interventions (pharmaca, lifestyle)
- B-ILO5 Discusses how external cues challenge the regulatory system
- B-ILO6 Applies acquired knowledge of control systems in a predefined scenario and translates this into advice to stakeholder
- B-ILO7 Applies appropriate statistics (logistic regression) to a dataset derived from practical during course