Biological sciences
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Luigi Catacuzzeno
  • Luigi Catacuzzeno
  • 56 ore - Luigi Catacuzzeno
Course Regulation
Coorte 2020
Learning activities
Discipline fisiologiche e biomediche
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The aim of the course of General Physiology is to provide students with knowledge and information in order to achieve a level of preparation appropriate to the degree in Biotechnology. Topics covered will be a utility useful for following matters.Introduction to Physiology. Muscle Contraction. Introduction to Physiology of the Nervous System. Physiology of the Cardiovascular System. Physiology of respiratory system. Physiology of the renal system. Physiology of the gastrointestinal system. Physiology of the endocrine system.
Reference texts
Title: Fisiologia cellule molecole e sistemi
Authors: D'Angelo e Peres
Editor: Ediermes
Educational objectives
Biotechnological skills – Knowledge of structure and biological properties of animal cells and tissues
In order to understand the content of the course, student should have the following preliminary knowledge:1) Principles of Anatomy2) Principles of biochemistry, with special enphasis to the protein and phospholipid structure and energetic metabolism3) Chemistry. Equilibria. Acid-base reactions, particle diffution
Teaching methods
The educational activities will be conducted through lectures.
Learning verification modality
Written partial tests and final oral exam
Written tests are three in number, each consisting of three questions requiling a few line of text to answer. The oral exam consists of nine questions performed over all the program.
Extended program
Introduction to Physiology: Homeostasis and physiological systems. Dynamics of membrane: diffusion. Transport mediated by proteins: ion channels. Vesicular and transepithelial transports. Resting membrane potential: Nernst and Goldman equations. Action Potential. Intercellular communication: chemical and electrical synapses. Neurotransmitters: glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine and serotonin. Interaction with relative receptors.

Muscle Contraction:
Neuromuscular transmission: saltatory conduction, the endplate, the excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal and smooth muscles.

Introduction to Physiology of the Nervous System
Noradrenergic system: Catecholamines Biosynthesis and Metabolism. Agonist-receptor interaction. Classification of receptors. Locus Coeruleus: anatomic location and physiological roles.
Autonomic nervous system: sympathetic and parasympathetic system. Subdivision, classification and physiological effects on various tissues.
EEG: Functional Significance, electroencephalographic waves, nature and analysis of the track.
Sleep physiology: physiological meaning, description of the various cycles and stages of sleep and age-related changes.

Physiology of the Cardiovascular System: blood flow regulation by physical factors. pressure, flow and resistance relationship, the law of Poiseuille. Parameters influencing the vascular resistance. Factors determine blood pressure and creation of the pressure difference in circulatory system.
Mechanisms at the basis of automatism and conduction of cardiac action potential. Ionic bases of action potentials. Identification of the temporal sequence of electrical activation in various regions of the heart and conduction velocity in different parts of the conduction system. ECG, relationship between events and cardiac electrical excitation waves.
Electro-mechanical coupling in cardiac fiber. Factors determining contractile force of the heart. Length-tension relation in cardiac fiber. Cardiac cycle: pressure changes in the heart, arterials and venous. Heart valves physiology and sounds.
Cardiac output modulation. Heart rate and systolic volume control.
Arterial system function. Arterial compliance. Factors determining mean arterial pressure. The pulse arterial pressure. Practice exercise: blood pressure measurments.
Microcirculation and lymphatic circulation physiology. Mechanisms underlying the exchanges between blood and interstitial fluid.
Metabolic, humoral and nervous systems mechanisms allowing the regulation of blood flow in different circulatory districts. Blood pressure regulation: short, medium and long term mechanisms. Baroreceptor reflex mechanisms.

Physiology of respiratory system: Mechanisms of change in lung volume, air movements and pressures. Intrapleural pressure. The elastic recoil of the lung and the chest. Surface tension and surfactant. Laplace's law applied to alveolus. Polmonary compliance. Restrictive diseases. Airway resistance and neurohumoral regulation. Dynamic compliance and pressure volume diagram during the respiratory cycle, the contribution of elastic and viscous resistance.
Measurement of lung volumes, spirometry. Anatomical dead space. Respiratory minute volume, pulmonary and alveolar ventilation. Alveolar-capillary gas exchange. Composition and partial pressures in the atmospheric, inspired and alveolar air. Oxygen and carbon dioxide diffusion. Law of diffusion and factors that influence the rate of diffusion.
Transport of oxygen in the blood. Oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve, curve analysis and its physiological significance. Factors influencing the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve. Transport of carbon dioxide. Organization and functioning of the respiratory center, Medulla oblongata, apneustico and pneumotassic respiratory centers. Ventilation control by the central and peripheral chemoreceptors.

Physiology of the renal system: Anatomical and functional nephron characteristics. Renal filtration, reabsorption and secretion. Characteristics of the glomerular filtration barrier. Factors determining the ultrafiltration. Definition of GFR and inulin and creatinine clearance. Physiological control of glomerular filtration and renal blood flow. Autoregulation of GFR and renal blood flow.
Concept of maximum transport. Reabsorption and secretion in different sections of the neuron. Glucose renal threshold. The body fluids and renal function, fluid intake and excretion. Renal mechanisms for urine dilution and concentration. Actions of ADH on the kidney. Osmotic control of ADH secretion. Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
The responses at changes in pH, buffer systems. Acid-base balance, the renal control. Quantification of the acidifying capacity of the kidney: bicarbonate reabsorption, ammonium ion removal.

Physiology of the gastrointestinal system: Electrical activity and mechanisms of the gastrointestinal smooth muscle contraction. Movements propulsion-peristalsis-shuffling "law of the intestine." Nervous and hormonal control of the digestive system. The properties of the submucosal and myenteric plexus. The autonomic nervous system control.
Chewing and swallowing. Motor functions of the stomach, small intestine and colon. The gastrointestinal reflexes, defecation and vomiting. Mechanisms of salivary, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic and biliary secretion, neuro-hormonal regulation. The enterohepatic recirculation. Digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Fundamental principles of gastrointestinal absorption.

Physiology of the endocrine system: intracellular mechanisms mediated by hormones. Mechanisms of secretion and regulation of hormones: nervous, chronotropic and feedback control. The hormones secreted by hypothalamic nuclei: the release factors. Cells and hormones secreted by the anterior pituitary. Function and regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-endocrine gland. The Higher centers that regulate hypothalamic functions.
Thyroid: Thyroid hormones: synthesis, storage, release in circulation, turnover and transport in the blood. Iodine requirement. Factors that regulate the secretion mechanisms and feedback control. Actions of TSH. Actions of thyroid hormones on basal metabolism, carbohydrates
, lipids and proteins turnover. Effects on the nervous system. Effects on cardiovascular parameters. Outline of pathophysiology.
Adrenal: The glucocorticoid (cortisol). Mechanisms regulating the secretion of cortisol: the feedback control, the rhythm of secretion, the circadian rhythm. Biological actions of ACTH. Cortisol effects on metabolism, insulin release, muscle, bone and connective tissue, actions on the nervous system, anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive actions.
Insulin: Mechanisms of cellular transport of glucose mediated by insulin: actions on glucose transporters. Mechanisms of insulin secretion: role of ATP-sensitive potassium channels and calcium channels. Nervous regulation of insulin secretion. Mechanisms of feedback regulation between insulin and nutrients. Actions of insulin on muscle tissue, adipose, liver.
Growth hormone (GH). Structure and mechanisms of regulation of GH secretion. Role of somatostatin. Rhythm of secretion, circadian rhythm, changes with age. The somatomedins or IGFs. Biological actions of GH. Outline of pathophysiology.
The Parathyroid hormone (PTH). Structure and mechanisms of regulation of the secretion of PTH. Biological actions.
Cortisol. Mechanisms of regulation of the secretion of cortisol. Biological actions.
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