Erno Vreugdenhil


  • Associate professor
  • Molecular Neurobiologie and Circadian NeuroPlasticity


My interest lays in the plasticity and formation of novel neuronal networks (neurogenesis) in the adult brain and how aberrant plasticity contributes to the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric diseases. I am particular interested in circadian plasticity of the central clock in the brain, the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) and how circadian plasticity is regulated by exercise. For my research, I use a variety of techniques, including transgenic animal models, RNA-interference, confocal microscopy, molecular biology and single cell analysis.

Selected literature:

  • Fitzsimons, C. P., van Hooijdonk, L. W. A., Schouten, M., Zalachoras, I., Brinks, V., Zheng, T., Schouten, T.G., Saaltink, D.J., Dijkmans, T., Steindler, D.A., Verhaagen, J., Verbeek, F.J., Lucassen, P.J., de Kloet, E.R., Meijer, O.C., Karst, H., Joels, M., 
 Oitzl, M.S.and E. Vreugdenhil(2013). Knockdown of the glucocorticoid receptor alters functional integration of newborn neurons in the adult hippocampusand impairs fear-motivated behavior. Molecular Psychiatry, 18(9), 993–1005. doi:10.1038/mp.2012.123
  • Saaltink, D.-J., & Vreugdenhil, E. (2014). Stress, glucocorticoid receptors, and adult neurogenesis: a balance between excitation and inhibition? Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. doi:10.1007/s00018-014-1568-5
  • Saaltink, D.-J., Håvik, B., Verissimo, C. S., Lucassen, P. J., & Vreugdenhil, E. (2012). Doublecortin and doublecortin-like are expressed in overlapping and non-overlapping neuronal cell population: implications for neurogenesis. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 520(13), 2805–2823. doi:10.1002/cne.23144


Confocal microscopic picture showing expression of a neurogenesis-related protein, doublecortin-like (DCL, yellow), in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) in the mouse brain. Expression overlaps with that of vasopressin, a key transmitter in the SCN and in the regulation of stress. (courtesy of Dirk-Jan Saaltink).


Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
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