To give an integrated view of the functions of organs, systems and apparatus, as a basal condition to the study of the diseases that may affect the human body and of the pharmacological interventions that should be adopted for the correction of the altered physiological functions. Particular attention will be devoted to the cell and molecular aspects of the physiological processes.
Expected learning outcomes
Activity scheduled over several sessions (see Course syllabus and organization section for more detailed information)
I Semester. Cellular Physiology This unit addresses the organization and biophysical properties of cells and tissues. Basic concepts in cell and membrane physiology are synthesized through exploring the function of epithelial, neuronal and muscle cells. The following topics will be covered: Membranes transport processes Membrane organization, Transporters, Channels Passive transports: diffusion, Fick law, facilitated transport Active transports: ATPases, secondary active transports The water transport trough membranes Endocytosis, exocytosis, transcytosis Cell communication messages by Endocrine / Nervous systems Hormones, classification, action Electrically excitable cells Resting membrane potentials Passive membrane properties: local potentials Active membrane properties: action potentials Propagation of action potentials Electrical and chemical Synapses, Excitatory and inhibitory synapses Synaptic integration and plasticity Mechanisms of sensory transduction Physiology of Skeletal Muscle Neuromuscular junction Excitation-contraction coupling Stimulus strength and muscle contraction Muscle fibers classification Motor Units Excitation-contraction coupling in the cardiac muscle Excitation-contraction coupling in the smooth muscle
II Semester. Human Physiology. This unit addresses the organization and functioning of organs and systems of normal human body. The regulatory mechanisms and the contributions of each system to the body homeostasis will be emphasized. The functioning of the following systems will be covered: Cardiovascular system Electrical properties of heart and cardiac cycle Electrocardiogram Mechanical properties of heart and cardiac cycle Intrinsic and extrinsic Regulation of the heart: Biophysics of the circulation Respiratory system Mechanics of Ventilation Physical principles of gas exchanges Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide transport in the blood Control of Ventilation Urinary system Body fluid compartments The nephrone Urine production mechanisms: Filtration, reabsorption, secretion, excretion GFV Control Clearance and tubular maximum Regulation of body fluid concentration and volume Hormonal mechanisms Electrolytes and Acid-base balance headings Digestive system (shortly) Functions of the digestive system Digestive system motility Digestive systems secretions Digestion and absorption (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, Vitamins, mineral salts, water) Energy balance and the role of pancreatic hormones Nervous System Central and peripheral system organization Autonomic nervous system Peripheral sensory system Sensory systems: Sensory pathways and cortical projection areas, Proprioception, Nociception, Visual system, Hearing and Balance Motor systems: Descending pathways organization, Control of posture and movement, Cerebellum and Basal Ganglia Cerebral cortex functions: Associative cortex, Learning, language and speaking, Endocrine system: Endocrine system: principles of organization and functioning Hypothalamic-pituitary axis and hormones Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the stress response Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and control of reproduction Tyroid and parathyroid glands and the control of calcaemia
Practical Course Nernst Low, Action potential, synapses. Principles and techniques of manual blood pressure measurement Pulmonary Function Testing: Spirometry, Lung Volume Determination First Aid Guide and Emergency Treatment Instructions - Body Life Support and Defibrillation (fBLSD)
Examination: Oral examination to ascertain the candidate's knowledge on the topics covered during the course.
PART I: CELL PHYSIOLOGY The biological membranes - Transports across the biological membranes - Osmosis and osmotic pressure, oncotic pressure - Diffusion - Facilitated diffusion - Active transports The physiological buffer system - Henderson-Hasselbach equation and the isohydric principle - Chemical (bicarbonate, phosphate) and protein buffers - Involvement of lung and kidneys in the pH regulation The blood - The body fluids - The blood and its components. - The corpuscular elements of the blood - Red blood cells and hemoglobin - Platelets and blood coagulation - The white blood cells and the immune system - The blood groups and Rh factors Conduction of nerve signals - Cells of the nervous system: neurons and glia - membrane potentials and action potentials - Nernst and Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equations - Transmission of the nerve impulse - Synaptic transmission. - Neurotransmitters and their membrane receptors - Postreceptor signal pathways - Role of calcium in the synaptic transmission - Excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials Physiology of the Muscle cell - Classification of muscles: skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, smooth muscle - Structure of the skeletal muscle: the sarcomere - The neuromuscular plate and muscle contraction - Mechanisms involved in the contraction (cross-bridge cycling) - Role of the ATP and calcium - Types of muscle contraction: the cardiac and smooth muscle - Biophysics of the muscle contraction
PART II: GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF INTEGRATED SYSTEMS (PIS)
Nervous System - Physiology of normal skin - The sensory perception - Sensory receptors and signal transmission - Progression of the sensory signals - Special sensory organs: olfactive, gustative, auditory, vestibular and visual perception. - Somatosensory and somatomotory connection - Sensory cortex and motor cortex - Autonomous nervous system and the control of the activity of the inner organs - Central control of the motor activity (the example of Parkinson's disease) - Spinal reflex and the local control of the motor activity - Advanced levels of integration of the movements and posture: role of the inner ear, the basal ganglia, the reticular formation, the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex - Higher functions of the cerebral cortex: learning and memory - Elaboration of the thought, words and images - The sleep; sleep-waking rhythms and sleep disturbance - The limbic system, the behaviors and the relationships PIS - Control of body temperature PIS - Nociception and the control of the painful stimuli The Endocrine System - Neuroendocrinology: the hypotalamo-pituitary relationship, hypothalamic hormones, hormones of the neurohypophisis and of the anterior pituitary - The "endocrine axes": hypotalamo-pituitary-thyroid, hypotalamo-pituitary -adrenal, hypotalamo-pituitary-gonadal axes - Fertilization and pregnancy, sex determination and sexual differentiation, delivery and breast-feeding. - Control of the body growth: the growth hormone of the growth factors - Hormonal control of the glucose metabolism: insulin and glucagone. - Hormonal control of the calcium and phosphate homeostasis: vitamin D, parathyroid hormone and calcitonin. PIS - Nervous and hormonal control of the sexual and reproductive behavior Cardiovascular system - Heart and cardiac cycle - Structure of the cardiac muscle - Conduction system and the contraction in the heart. - Variation of intracardiac pressures along the various phases of the cardiac cycle - Frank-Starling law of the heart - The electrocardiogram (ECG) - Cardiac output and blood flow - The relationship among flow, pressure and resistance. - Laplace's law; the Bernoulli and Darcy law. - Blood circulation: arteries, capillary and venous systems. - Osmotic/oncotic pressure and edema - Special districts of the blood circulation: muscles, coronary arteries, cerebrospinal fluid and lymphatic system - Control of the circulation and of the arterial blood pressure - Local control of the circulation. Central control and vasomotor centers. The respiratory system - Mechanical respiratory and pulmonary volumes - Alveolar pulmonary gas exchange - Transport of respiratory gases in the blood - Role of red blood cells and of hemoglobin - Dissociation curve of oxyhemoglobin and carboxyhemoglobin - The chloride shift - CO2 elimination - Local and central control of the respiratory activity: role of the pH, CO2 and oxygen - The bulbar respiratory centers Renal function - Glomerular filtration. - Evaluation of the glomerular filtration pressure: role of the plasma proteins and of the arterial and Bowman's capsule pressure. - The plasma clearance. Determination of the clearance of a substance and analysis of the renal function. - Determination of the glomerular filtration rate, of the plasmatic flow and of the renal blood flow. - Exchanges of substances along several tracts of renal tubule. - The proximal renal tubule. - The Henle's loop, the vasa recta, the counter current multiplier and the counter current exchanger - The distal renal tubule and the urea cycle. - Reabsorption of water and electrolytes: role of ADH and aldosterone. - The urine acidification of urines. - The control of the renal activity. - The renin-angiotensin system and the long-term control of the arterial pressure. PIS - Nervous and hormonal control of the drinking behavior The digestive system - Mechanical and nervous control of the activity of the digestive system - Physiological aspects of swallowing - Introduction to digestive processes of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins - Introduction to the absorption of the alimentary nutrients, water and ions - The function of the liver and of the gallbladder PIS - nervous and hormonal control of food intake behavior