Advances in Hormonology (E08F4A)

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General info

Hormones are chemical substances derived from amino acids, cholesterol or phopholipids. These compounds are released by cells that regulate and control the activity of other cells or organs in other parts of the body. Beside this endocrine signaling a paracrine, autocrine or intracrine mechanism can also take place.

Most hormones initiate a cellular response through binding with either a specific intracellular receptor or a cell membrane associated receptor protein. Hormone secretion can be stimulated and inhibited by other hormones (stimulating- or releasing hormones), environmental changes, plasma concentrations of ions or nutrients as well as binding of globulins, etc. Hormones control diverse processes such as growth, development, reproduction and sexual characteristics.

Moreover, they influence the way the body uses and stores energy and control the volume of fluid, the levels of salts and sugar in the blood. Next to a general overview, this course will focus on the pituitary gland which is the endocrine core that governs the hormonal landscape of the organism, on the thyroid gland, the adrenal gland, the gonadal glands, the parathyroid glands and vitamin D. The general function will be discussed together with the pathophysiology, clinical presentation and treatment modalities.

After this course, students should be able to appreciate the link between certain hormones and human disease and understand how these links may provide novel opportunities to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment.


Form of examination

Written exam (outside normal exam period)

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Exam questions

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  • To what class of hormones does vitamin D belong and give the non-classical effects of vitamin D.
  • Give the structure and explain the domains of the androgen receptor.
  • Explain the regulation of the thyroid hormone action.
  • Why do we use immunoassays for the measurement of hormones, is there a cheaper solution?
  • What is the difference between the oral antidiabetic agent and incretins?


19 december 2014

  • Give symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of pituitary tumors, explain this briefly for prolactinomas.
  • Give the metabolic effects of insulin.
  • Briefly describe acromegaly. Give ethiology, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Describe how iodine deficiency can lead to multinodular goiter.
  • Give the stengths and weaknesses of immunoassays in hormone analysis (compare with LC-MS/MS).
  • Briefly describe the testosterone synthesis in the Leydig cells. Comment the rate limiting step and the regulation of testosterone synthesis.


22 december 2014

  • Explain how vitamin D regulates calcium homeostasis.
  • VitD is not really a vitamin, what is it? How does VitD become activated? Which people could develop a VitD deficiency?
  • HPG-axis + feedback system
  • differences between T3, T4, rT3
  • explain different insuline preparations
  • Genomic mechanism of action of AR


Examenvragen '17-'18

  • Discuss primary hypogonadism: diagnosis, treatment and give an example of a disease that causes this.
  • Explain iodine cycle outside and within the body. Give an example of a natural goitrogen.
  • Discuss acromegaly. Give symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. What is the major difference in treatment, comparing with prolactinoma?
  • Explain/illustrate isobaric interference. How can we solve this problem in LC/MS-MS?
  • Explain calcium/phosphorus homeostasis in the body.
  • Explain in vitro measurement of beta cell function.