Università degli Studi di Perugia

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Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Giovanna Traina
  • Giovanna Traina - Didattica Ufficiale
  • 70 ore - Didattica Ufficiale - Giovanna Traina
Course Regulation
Coorte 2017
Learning activities
Discipline biologiche
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Physiology studies the vital functions that allow humans to analyze the environment in which they live, move, communicate, reproduce and survive. Physiology investigates the mechanisms underlying the normal functioning of the organism, and also explains its control and regulation, integrating the function from the molecular level to the whole organism. The man is not a sum of organs, nerves or muscles, but a single whole. This functional solidarity is made possible by the integrative activity of the nerve centers and the unifying concept of homeostasis of the internal medium.
Reference texts
Fisiologia, a cura di G. Monticelli, 2° Edizione (2014),
Casa Editrice Ambrosiana-Zanichelli

Fisiologia, a cura di D’Angelo-Peres, Edi.Ermes (2011)

Berne-Levy, Fisiologia, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana (2010)
Educational objectives
The altered functioning of organs or apparatuses due to exogenous and / or endogenous causes beyond the limits that our organism is able to control and correct constitutes the pathological condition, on which the pharmacological treatment intervenes.
Therefore, Physiology defines the necessary and fundamental premises for the understanding of Pathology and Pharmacology.
The course has set itself the goal of illustrating the general operation of the main equipment, and stimulate the students' research of cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie higher functions.
In order to be able to understand and to know how to tackle the course, students must have the basic notions of human anatomy and biology, propedeutics to physiology.
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows: Lectures on all subjects of the course.
Projection of movies concerning some topics that will complement the lectures.
Other information
Frequency: Compulsory, at least 70% of lessons
Learning verification modality
The exam consists of an oral test. Such oral test consists on an interview of about 30-40 minutes long aiming to ascertain the knowledge level and the understanding capability acquired by the student. The oral exam will also test the student communication skills and his autonomy in the organization and integration of the theoretical topics.
Extended program
General physiology of the neuron.
The plasmatic membrane. Laws of diffusion. Potential distribution. Gibbs-Donnan equilibrium. Physiology of excitable membranes. Capacity and conductance of the membrane. Constant time and space. Potential balance. Nernst equation. Resting potential and action potential. Ionic basis of action potential. Membrane channels.

Electrical and chemical synapses. Tests of mediation in chemical synaptic transmission. Neuromuscular junction.Ionic basis of the potential of plaque. Experiments on the release of acetylcholine in the neuromuscular junction. Mechanisms of transmitter release. Role of Ca2. EPSP and IPSP. Receptors. G-proteins and second messengers. Signal transduction pathways.

Physiology of muscle tissue
Muscle contraction. Muscle twitch and tetanus. Electromechanical coupling. Role of Ca2.

Spinal cord
General property of reflexes. Postural tone. Decerebration rigidity. Neuromuscular spindles. Tendon organs. Stretch reflex.

Autonomic Nervous System.
Distribution and organization of the autonomic nervous system.
Central Nervous System. Movement. Cerebellum.
Sensorial System. Vision.Hearing.
Physiology of circulation
Cardiovascular system. Cardiac cycle. General electrophysiology of cardiac muscle. Electrocardiogram. Starling's Law. Extrinsic innervation of the heart. General information on the peripheral circulation. Hemodynamics and its applications. Blood pressure. Vasomotor tone. Baroreflex.

Physiology of respiration
Respiratory mechanics. Gas Laws. Diffusion of gases through the alveolar surface. Transport of O2 in the blood. Transport of CO2 in the blood. Respiratory center and modulation of respiratory rhythm.

Physiology of kidney.
Glomerular filtration. Renal clearance. Mechanisms of reabsorption and tubular secretion. Renin-angiotensin system. Fluid and electrolyte balance. Acid-basic balance and compensatory mechanisms. The urinary concentrating mechanism.

Digestive physiology
Gastric and pancreatic secretion. Intestinal absorption. Motility and peristalsis. Liver functions.

Physiology of endocrine glands.
Hormones of protein nature. Steroid hormones. Adrenals. Posterior pituitary and neurosecretion. Adenohypophysis. Releasing factors. Thyroid. Pancreas and diabetes.
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