Physiology and pharmacology of the endocrine system

A.Y. 2016/2017
Overall hours
BIO/09 BIO/14
Learning objectives
Aim of the course is to provide to students the knowledge of the functional effect of the classical hormones and of the pharmacological approaches available to treat endocrine disorders, in a strictly integrated way.
Expected learning outcomes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Physiologic functions and components of the endocrine system: hormone mechanism of action and cellular effects. Hormone receptors and signal transduction.
The hypothalamus and pituitary gland: posterior pituitary gland: hormones of the posterior pituitary gland. Anterior pituitary gland: hypothalamic control of anterior pituitary hormone release. Hormones of the anterior pituitary gland. Diseases of anterior pituitary gland. Use and modulation of hypothalamic and pituitary hormones in endocrine diseases, e.g. pituitary insufficiency, acromegaly, adrenal insufficiency, hyperprolactinemia, and in specific conditions such as aging or doping

Thyroid gland: regulation of biosynthesis and secretion of thyroid hormones. Diseases of thyroid hormones over and underproduction. The hypothalamus-pituitary gland-Thyroid axis. Use of thyroid hormones or anti-thyroid drugs in hyper- or hypo-thyroidism

Parathyroid Gland and Ca2+ and PO4- regulation: biosynthesis and transport of PTH. Target organs and physiological effects of PTH. Calcium homeostasis. Diseases of PTH production. Use of drugs that modulate Ca2+ / PO4 homeostasis and/or bone metabolism

Adrenal gland: functional anatomy and zonation. Hormones of adrenal cortex and of adrenal medulla. Pharmacological use of natural or synthetic steroids an adrenal activity modulating drugs in physiological and pathological conditions

Endocrine pancreas: pancreatic hormones and diseases associated to pancreatic hormones. Drugs and hormones for the maintenance of glucidic homeostasis

Male reproductive system: gonandotropin regulation of gonadal function. Gonadal function. Physiological effects of androgens at target organs. Diseases associated to dysfunctions of testosterone production. Use of drugs, natural and synthetic hormones in order to modulate hyper- or hypo- male gonadic function.

Female reproductive system: gonandotropin regulation of ovarian function; synthesis of ovarian hormones; ovarian and endometrial cycle; physiological effects of ovarian hormones; ageing and the female reproductive system. Use of drugs, natural and synthetic hormones in order to modulate hyper- or hypo- female gonadic function.Use of drugs and hormones that control reproduction


Reference Material
Molina PE, Endocrine Physiology, McHill
Williams, Texbook of endocrinology, Sounders

Prerequisites and examination procedures
Basic principles of physiology and pharmacology
A written test on various arguments covered during classes

Teaching Methods
PowerPoint-assisted lectures; seminars

Language of instruction
BIO/09 - PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 0
BIO/14 - PHARMACOLOGY - University credits: 0
Lessons: 48 hours
to be arranged by email
Torre A 6th floor
by appointment
university building via vanvitelli 32