Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo



A.Y. Credits
2015/2016 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Patrizia Ambrogini

Assigned to the Degree Course

Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide: 1.  knowledge of processes and cellular mechanisms underlying the major functions of living systems; 2. knowledge of human body organ functioning and of general mechanisms of control of their integrated working under normal conditions.


Transport across cell membrane: passive diffusion; facilitated diffusion; water channels; ion channels; active transport by ATP-powered pumps; cotransport by symporters and antiporters against a concentration gradient; transport across epithelia; endocytosis; exocytosis. Resting membrane potentials.
Elements of intercellular communication: paracrine, autocrine and endocrine signaling; membrane receptors: ion-channel receptors, G protein-coupled receptors, enzyme-linked receptors; intracellular receptors: cytoplasmic and nuclear receptors; signal transduction pathways.
Nervous system: chemical synapses and electrical synapses; neurotransmitters and their receptors; post-synaptic potential; neuron integration function; action potential; myelin sheath and saltatory conduction; sensory receptors: stimulus transduction and codification; reflexes; autonomic nervous system.
Muscle: sarcomere; excitation-contraction coupling; muscle metabolism; isometric and isotonic contraction; twitch and tetanus; neuromuscular junction; motor unit; smooth muscle.
Cardiovascular system: electrical activity of cardiac cells; cardiac cycle; stroke volume and heart rate regulation; cardiac output, venous return and their regulation; local control of blood flow by metabolic, neural and humoral factors; blood pressure and its short and long term regulation; microvascular exchange and Starling forces.
Endocrine system: hormones: classification, synthesis and release, action mechanisms; hypothalamus-hypophysis axis; thyroid; adrenal gland; endocrine pancreas.
Gastrointestinal system: motility: electrical and mechanical activity of smooth muscle cells; mastication; swallowing; esophagus motility; stomach motility; movements of small and large intestine; defecation; secretory functions: salivary secretion; gastric secretion; pancreatic secretion; biliary secretion; intestinal secretion; digestion and absorption; nervous and hormonal regulation of gastrointestinal functions. Control of food intake and of body weight.
Renal system: glomerular filtration; tubular functions: reabsorption and secretion by the renal tubules; solute reabsorption along proximal tubule, loop of Henle, distal tubule and collecting duct; renal mechanisms for urine concentrating and diluting to control extracellular fluid osmolarity and volume; renal clearance.
Respiratory system: mechanics of pulmonary ventilation; gas exchange between alveoli and pulmonary capillary blood; ventilation-perfusion ratio; transport of oxigen and carbon dioxide in blood; regulation of respiration.
Acid-base balance: role of lungs and kidneys in regulation of pH of extracellular fluids; respiratory and metabolic acidosis and alkalosis.

Bridging Courses

It is advisable to have passed the following exams: Human anatomy with animal biology elements; Biochemistry and Molecular biology.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

According to Dublin descriptors, at the end of the course and for passing the exam, students are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

1. to possess good knowledge and understanding of cellular and organ human physiology topics, so as to be able to set a logical and complete discussion about theoretical aspects of the discipline;

2. to be able to communicate, clearly and comprehensively, the acquired knowledge, exposing with language property and scientific terms;

3. to be able to making judgements on problematic aspects of human physiology;

4. to have reached a good level of learning capacity in terms of ability to elaborate an autonomous thinking using the provided information about the diverse issues presented during the course.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment



Course books

In alternative:
- Berne & Levy, Physiology, Sixth Edition, 2008, Mosby Elsevier
- Guyton and Hall, Textbook of medical physiology, Twelfth Edition, 2010, Saunders Elsevier


Oral exam

Disability and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)

Students who have registered their disability certification or SLD certification with the Inclusion and Right to Study Office can request to use conceptual maps (for keywords) during exams.

To this end, it is necessary to send the maps, two weeks before the exam date, to the course instructor, who will verify their compliance with the university guidelines and may request modifications.

« back Last update: 14/02/2016

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