Learning outcomes of the course unit
The General Physiology course is predominantly centred on cellular physiology since it is at the level of the individual cell that, albeit with different methods, the life processes in their most general meaning are found.
The main objective of the course is to provide basic knowledge on the functions of eukaryotic cells, in their differentiated and specialized phenotypes, and on the molecular mechanisms that enable life processes to take place at cellular level.
A second objective is to provide the bases for understanding some aspects of the integration processes that, in multicellular organisms, allow the different types of cells, the constituent elements of tissues and organs, to carry out specific functions in a coordinated way.
Course contents summary
SECTION I. Cell physiology: cell membrane, transportacross cell membrane, ion transport and transmembranepotentials,passive and active electrical properties of cell membrane
SECTION II: Excitable cells: nerve and muscle fibers.Functionalmorphology of excitable cells. Ionic basis of excitationandconduction. Molecular and functional properties of ion channels
Intercellularcommunication. a) General mechanisms of chemicalcommunication:membrane receptors and signal transduction pathways; b)Chemicalsynaptic transmission: neurotransmitters, postsynapticreceptors,post-synaptic potentials, synaptic plasticity; integrazione sinaptica -plasticità sinaptica - neurotrasmettitori eneuromodulatori c)Electrical synaptic transmission.
Muscle. Excitation-contraction coupling in the skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle fibers.
Molecular mechanisms of contraction.
Sensory systems: Sensory receptors, Electrical events in sensory receptors, transduction and "coding" of sensory information.
Integrative physiology: basic concepts, functions of the nervous system, endocrine system, homeostasis
1. Taglietti V, Casella C: ELEMENTI DIFISIOLOGIA E BIOFISICA DELLA CELLULA. La Goliardica Pavese s.r.l., last edition
2. Munaron L, Lovisolo D: FISIOLOGIA DELLA CELLULA. Bollati Boringhieri, 2003 (or later edition)
The course is carried out through classroom lectures. At the end of each section of the course, students are given self-assessment tests.
The final assessment consists of a written test and subsequent oral discussion of the paper.