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


General physiology
Fisiologia Generale

A.Y. Credits
2017/2018 10
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Andrea Minelli on appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Pharmacy (LM-13)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

Knowledge of the cellular processes and mechanisms underlying the fundamental functions of living systems. Knowledge of the operating modes of the various organs of the human body and of the general mechanisms controlling their integrated functions under physiological conditions.


Transport of substances across the cell membrane: diffusion and facilitated diffusion; primary and secondary active transport. Ionic channels; resting membrane potential; action potential; propagation of action potential.
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; Somatosensiory system; pain; 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. Energy metabolism and basal metabolic rate. 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

Animal Biology; Human Anatomy; Physics

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

In accordance to the Descriptors of Dublin, at the end of the course students are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

1. to possess good knowledge and comprehension of the various themes of General Physiology, so as to be able to discuss theoretical aspects of the discipline in a logical and complete fashion;

2. to be able to discuss applicative problems in the context of General Physiology;

3. to be able to critically and autonomously evaluate different opinions related to the various aspects of Physiology;

4. to have reached a good level of learning capacity, not only in terms of ability to memorize/retrieve the information studied, but also in terms of ability to elaborate original thoughts 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

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Frontal lessons

Course books

Monticelli, Fisiologia, CEA 
Berne, Levy, Principi di Fisiologia, CEA
Silverthorn, Fisiologia, CEA


Oral exam

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Course books

Monticelli, Fisiologia, CEA 
Berne, Levy, Principi di Fisiologia, CEA
Silverthorn, Fisiologia, CEA


Oral exam

« back Last update: 03/07/17


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