Drug-Induced Stress and Cellular Responses


Course Objective

At the end of this theoretical course, the students are aware of the
latest insights of cellular stress responses which can occur after
exposure of cells to reactive drugs and/or reactive drug metabolites.

Course Content

Exposure of tissues to high levels of drugs and/or drug metabolites in
some cases can trigger various biochemical responses. Interaction with
sensor proteins can lead to adaptative stress responses which will
protect the cell against further damage. If these adaptative stress
responses are insufficient, interaction with critical proteins may lead
to cell death or exaggerated, fatal pharmacological responses.
The following aspects will be studied in the course drug-induced stress
and cellular signaling:
• (types of) adverse drug reactions
• role of biotransformation and drug transport in adverse drug
• reversible and irreversible interactions of toxic drugs with
biological macromolecules,
• cellular adaptation to exposure to reactive chemicals and reactive
oxygen species;
• cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to toxic effects,
• role of mitochondria in necrosis and apoptosis,
• immune-mediated toxicity.
• advantages and disadvantages of different (novel) in vitro models used
in toxicity studies.
• cellular parameters reflecting stress-responses and mitochondrial

Teaching Methods

Lectures, assignment and self study.

Method of Assessment

Written exam and assignment

Entry Requirements

Bachelor Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences , Medical Natural
Sciences, Medical Biology or equivalent


Boelsterli, Mechanistic Toxicology: The Molecular Basis of How Chemicals
Disrupt Biological Targets 2nd ed, CRC Press, 2007 (ISBN 0849372720).
Recent literature will be provided

Target Audience

Master students Drug Discovery and Safety and Biomolecular Sciences

Custom Course Registration

Registration by VU-Net

General Information

Course Code X_432536
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. J.N.M. Commandeur
Examiner dr. J.N.M. Commandeur
Teaching Staff prof. dr. P. Jennings
dr. J.N.M. Commandeur
dr. ir. J.C. Vos
dr. A. Wilmes

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

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