wsbim2155  2020-2021  Bruxelles Woluwe

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
4 credits
30.0 h
Main themes
The aim of these lectures is to address the developmental processes that contribute to the formation of the central and of the peripheral nervous system, and the molecular, cellular and systemic mechanisms that regulate these processes. The development will be studied from the initial formation of the neural tissue (neurulation) to the wiring of interconnected functional circuits. Mechanistic aspects will focus on the genetic regulators and signalling pathways involved in neural induction, patterning of the nervous system (morphogens), neuronal and glial differentiation, neuronal migration, axonal growth and guidance and synaptogenesis, and on activity-dependent maturation of neural circuitry. The alterations of the development of the nervous system, either of endogenous or exogenous origin, will be analyzed. Finally, the experimental approaches specifically dedicated to the study of neural development will be presented.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 At the end of the course, the student will be able :
- to describe the processes that contribute to the formation of the structures of the central and peripheral nervous system, and to explain the developmental relationships between these structures
- to understand and compare the regulatory mechanisms that are activated during development in different regions of the nervous system (organizing centres, control of neurogenesis, of neuronal differentiation and migration, of axonal growth, of synaptogenesis and of circuit formation)
- to explain the mechanisms and the consequences of endogenous or exogenous alterations of these processes
- to propose adequate experimental strategies to study specific aspects of neural development
- to make anatomical and functional links between developing structures and structures of the adult nervous system
The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled 'Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit'.
The lectures will address the following topics :
1.    Neural induction and neurulation
2.    Antero-posterior and dorso-ventral patterning of the nervous system
3.    Neural stem cells and neurogenesis
4.    Neuronal specification and differentiation
5.    Neuronal migration
6.    Neuronal survival and neuronal death
7.    Neural crest cells
8.    Axonal growth and guidance
9.    Development of glial cells, myelinisation
10.  Synaptogenesis and synaptic pruning
11.  Neural circuit formation and activity-dependent maturation
12.  Developmental alterations of the nervous system
13.  Specific experimental approaches
Teaching methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

The course will be given as a series of lectures including collective analysis of key research articles or textbook chapters. Exercises based on in silico training or searches (expression databases, ...) or laboratory demonstrations could be organized.
Evaluation methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

Oral or written examination, open questions with short answers
Other information
No prerequisite 
Online resources
Available on Moodle : pdf file of the slides; copies of articles or textbook chapters; web sites
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Biomedicine

Master [60] in Biomedicine