Animal science
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Massimo Zerani
  • Massimo Zerani
  • 72 ore - Massimo Zerani
Course Regulation
Coorte 2022
Learning activities
Discipline della sanità animale
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The course will focus on learning the general mechanisms of the physiology of the cell,
tissues, organs and different systems, with particular attention to the functions of the neuroendocrine, digestive, and reproductive systems.
Reference texts
"Physiology of Domestic Animals" 2nd edition
Sjaastad O.V., Sand O., Hove K.
2010, Scandinavian Veterinary Press.

Material provided by the teacher.
Educational objectives
The general formative objective is the knowledge of the physiology of the cell, of the tissues, of the organs and of the different apparatuses, with particular attention to the neuroendocrine, digestive and reproductive systems.
The main knowledge that students will acquire are:
- general concepts of the physiology of the cell and excitable tissues (muscle cells and neurons);
- organization and function of the digestive system of monogastrics and polygastrics in species of zootechnical interest;
- organization and function of the reproductive system in females (estral cycles, hypothalamic-hypophysis-ovarian axis, gestation, delivery and lactation) and males (spermatogenesis, hypothalamic-hypophysis-testis axis, erection and ejaculation) of species of zootechnical interest;
- organization and function of the endocrine system: biosynthesis, secretion, transport and action of hormones produced by hypothalamus, pituitary, epiphysis, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal gonads and digestive system;
- basic concepts of cardio-vascular, respiratory and urinary system physiology.
The ability to apply the acquired knowledge (skills) will be evaluated through in-depth analysis in the course of practical activities carried out in breeding regarding:
- evaluation of the oestrus in species of zootechnical interest,
- regulation of the fermentative activity of the rumen through the diet: benefits and risks
- stress and productive and reproductive performances
- hormonal regulation of appetite and glycemia
The knowledge acquired will be expanded with practical-seminar activities concerning the knowledge and use of the most important databases (PubMed, WOS, Scopus and Google Scolar) of zootechnical-veterinary interest.
The acquisition of such knowledge will allow a deeper understanding of the topics of this course and those following physiology. Moreover, the understanding of the use of these databases will give the future graduate an indispensable tool for continuous professional development.
The student must have basic knowledge of cell biology, biochemistry and anatomy, as attested by passing the examination of the aforementioned disciplines, to understand the topics covered
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows:
- lectures on all subjects of the program;
- seminars in the classroom on topics of particular interest;
- possible observations in the farm of 2 hours each carried out at the experimental teaching farm of the Department of Veterinary Medicine; students will be divided into groups (maximum 10 students).
Other information
The teaching activity is carried out during the first semester of the second year of the course. The student is invited to consult the page on the calendar of lessons on the website of the Department of Veterinary Medicine (http://www.medvet.unipg.it/) for further details on the start and end dates of the teaching activities. Lessons and seminars will be held at the Educational Pole (Department of Veterinary Medicine), Educational Laboratories of the Department. Some exercises will be carried out at the Didactic Animal Husbandry Company (Sant'Angelo di Celle) or in other classrooms/structures according to the needs.
Learning verification modality
The examination includes a written or oral test at the student's choice.
The written test will consist of 60 multiple-choice questions with four answers. The time allowed for the written test is 120 minutes. A number of correct answers equal to or greater than 36 will allow the exam to be passed.
The oral exam consists of at least 3 questions about the topics covered in the teaching.

For information on support services for students with disabilities and/or DSA visit the page http://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e-dsa
Extended program
A) Physiology of the cell (1 ECTS)
- fluid compartments and homeostasis
- cell membrane
- physiology of contraction in striated, smooth and cardiac muscle
- neuron, synapses, neuro-transmitters
B) Digestive tract of monogastric and polygastric (2 credits)
- chewing, salivary secretion and swallowing
- stomach: digestion, motility and secretion
- small and large intestines: enzymatic digestion and fermentation, motility, secretion and absorption
- forestomach: microbial populations, fermentation, volatile fatty acids, absorption and motility
- pancreas and liver
C) Reproduction and lactation (2 credits)
- pituitary hormones: LH, FSH, prolactin
- functions of the ovary: folliculogenesis, ovulation and corpus luteum
- biosynthesis and action of estrogen, progesterone and inhibin
- oestrous cycles in livestock species
- hormonal control of pregnancy and parturition
- development of breast and lactation
- Spermatogenesis and hormonal control
- Sexual behavior and maternal
D) Endocrine system (2 credits)
- cellular communication
- nature, synthesis and mechanism of action of hormones
- organization of the endocrine system and interrelationship with the nervous system
- biosynthesis, secretion, transport and action of hormones produced by hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal cortex and medulla
- hormones produced in other organs: renin-angiotensin system, erythropoietin, atrial natriuretic factor, gastro-intestinal hormones
E) Apparatus cardio-vascular, respiratory and urinary (1 ECTS)
- hints on cardiac, blood pressure regulation and circulation
- notes on respiratory mechanics, ventilation, gas exchange, transport of gases and control of breathing
- notes on glomerular filtration, absorption, secretion and excretion and acid-base regulation.
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