A.Y. 2017/2018
Overall hours
Learning objectives
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
Course syllabus and organization

Linea AL

Lesson period
Course syllabus
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
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)

Oral examination to ascertain the candidate's knowledge on the topics covered during the course.
BIO/09 - PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 11
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 80 hours
Professor: Perego Carla

Linea MZ

Lesson period
Course syllabus

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


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
BIO/09 - PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 11
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 80 hours
Professor: Maggi Roberto