General physiology and animal physiology

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This course is aimed at providing the students with a set of knowledge of the physical principles and molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of cell homeostasis. The content of the course and the scientific method with which the various topics are treated provide the means to understand the physiological regulations of tissues and organs with different functions, starting from common mechanisms. This eventually allows the understanding, in an integrated way, of the physiology of the whole animal organism.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student:
- will have acquired solid knowledge of the physical principles that regulate cellular homeostasis, based on quantitative assessments of physiological phenomena.
- will have developed a critical vision that will allow him to apply these basic principles to the more complex functions that regulate the homeostasis of tissues and organs and therefore the homeostasis of the whole animal organism.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Physiology of the biological membrane
Morpho/functional characteristics of cell membranes. Functional characteristics of transmembrane exchanges. The cytoplasmic environment
Active and passive transport through the membrane Chemical and electrical potential across the membrane
Mechanisms of transport for neutral substances, ions, water and organic compounds.
Functional integration of electric and chemical messages. Cellular and molecular physiology of excitable cells
The neuron
The cell action potential
The Hodgkin and Huxley theory Electrical signal generation and its propagation Biophysics of ion channels
Metabotropic and ionotropic membrane receptor. The second messenger system Cell communication: chemical and electrical stimulation
Electric and chemical Synapses Neuronal signal integration
The modality of communication in the nervous system: the neuronal firing
Functional principles of cellular memory: LTP and LTD
The muscle cell: skeletal, smooth and cardiac The skeletal muscle
The neuro-muscular junction Excitation and contraction coupling Basic mechanism of muscular contraction
The Huxley hypothesis: the sliding filaments Biomechanics of the skeletal muscle: isometric and isotonic contractions The smooth muscle
Cells organization and function
Distribution and function of contractile proteins in the smooth muscle
The peristalsis
The cardiac muscle
The cardiac action potentials
Cardiac cell ionic current
Cellular and molecular basis for cardiac autorhythmicity
The pace maker current If
Modulation of cardiac cell excitability
External signal transduction in sensory cells
Physiology of light sensitive cells in the eye
Physiology of the auditory system cells
The olfactory system cellular organization
The gustatory system
Touch and pain transducer at the cellular level Processes of reabsorption/secretion in the kidney
Organization of the nephron
Glomerular filtration
Reabsorption and tubular secretion mechanisms
Prerequisites for admission
A good Knowledge of Physics and anatomy
Teaching methods
Lectures, seminars and laboratory practice.
Teaching Resources
Taglietti - Fondamenti di Fisiologia generale e integrata Edises
D'Angelo Peres - Fisiologia. Edi Ermes.
Other physiology books.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Multiple choice quiz. Those who pass the written test with at least 17/30 can take the oral exam
BIO/09 - PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 9
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 64 hours
Educational website(s)
to be arranged by email
Torre A 6th floor