Integrated systems physiology

A.A. 2019/2020
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
Obiettivi formativi
The course is aimed to enhance knowledge in the functional integration of organ systems for the maintenance of body homeostasis. In particular, the course is designed to challenge and stimulate the student's interest in how the complex integration of organ systems is necessary for the body wellness and how alteration can explain diseases and drugs' side-effects.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
By the end of the course the students will be able:
to recognize the role played by the different physiological systems in the body's integrated responses;
to apply this knowledge to understand the disease onset mechanisms that may allow the identification of new therapeutic targets and the design of new biotechnological drugs.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Primo semestre
The course will cover the following topics:
Sensation and sensory processing
(Sensory systems and perception. Organization of sensory system: how peripheral sensory information is elaborated at integrated at the CNS. Insights: Nociception)

Movement and its central control
(The organization of the motor system: how a brain-programmed action is translated into motion. Processes that program and control the execution of actions, their interaction with motion perception. Insights: mirror neurons)

Learning and Memory.
(The neural and functional organization of short and long term memory processes and their role in human cognition. Molecular and cellular bases; neuronal plasticity; brain aging)

Speech and language
(Origins of language; language acquisition; the brain areas dedicated to language, the Broca area and the Wernicke area; aphasia; the lateralization of language; dyslexia; reading processes and considerations on the writing process).

The sleep
(The functional and neural structure of sleep control; biochemistry and physiology of sleep).

Cardiovascular function integration
(Integrated control of cardiac output and blood pressure; modulation by autonomic neurons and catecholamines; baroreceptor reflex)

Control of body temperature
(Body temperature balance: heat production, gain and loss. Peripheral and central mechanisms of control).

Integrated function of endocrine system
(Type of hormones, their mechanisms of action, hypothalamus -pituitary axis- Role of hormones in growth, calcium balance, glucose balance, metabolism; nervous and endocrine control of male and female physiology reproduction)

Fluid and electrolyte balance
(Role of kidney and behavioural mechanisms in water balance and salt balance; integrated control of volume and osmolarity; acid-base balance)

Regulation of gastrointestinal function and eating behaviour
(Role of enteric nervous system; role of gastrointestinal peptides; role of hypothalamic and peripheral signals involved in food intake process).
To address this course, it is required that the student has already achieved the basic knowledge of anatomy and human physiology in order to better understand the integrated functions described in the course.
Metodi didattici
Frontal lessons supported by audio-visual tools.
The course includes 1 ECTS of laboratory exercises which will consist in simulations of physiological processes using the Laboratory Simulation Software PhysioEX.
Materiale di riferimento
- "Neuroscience" by Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick et al., Sinauer Oxford University Press.
- "Human Physiology- An integrated approach" by Dee Unglaub Silverthorn, Pearson International Edition, Benjamin Cummings.
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
The exam will be oral and will consist of four questions about the topics covered in the course. Both professors will be present at the exam.
Students should be able to identify the role of each organ in the integrated functions for maintaining homeostasis but are also expected to understand the synchrony of many systems interacting simultaneously (e.g. neural control of cardio-vascular response to maintain the heart rate and blood pressure).
Esercitazioni di laboratorio a posto singolo: 16 ore
Lezioni: 40 ore
Previo appuntamento
Via Trentacoste 2 Milano
Dal lunedì al venerdì, previo appuntamento via e-mail
stanza 61, via Balzaretti 9, 4°piano