Learning outcomes of the course unit
To provide a description of the general mechanisms underlying main functions of eukaryotic cells, particularly concerning membrane excitability, signal cellular transduction, and all the processes that allow different cellular types to perform coordinated tasks.
Lessons will be devoted also to provide particular examples of cellular physiology which will be dissected more in detail. For example: autonomic modulation of cardiac activity, and visual and auditory transduction. In these particular cases, students will be required to get deeper into molecular, cellular, and whole organ mechanisms.
Among the main aims of the course is to provide knowledge concerning particular cellular molecular mechanisms, needed to understand synergies, couplings, and antagonisms, like in the case of: up- and down-regulation of membrane adenylate cyclase, or the interplay between Na-K pump and Na-Ca exchanger in muscle cells.
Basic concepts of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Cellular Biology and Biochemistry are required.
Course contents summary
1. Membrane transport mechanisms
2. Diffusion laws and electrochemical potentials
3. Membrane potential and electrical signals
4. Cellular communication
5. Neurons ans synapses
6. Sensory transduction
7. Muscle and glands
Vander - FISIOLOGIA. Casa Editrice Ambrosia
General issues concerning molecular and cellular mechanisms of the most relevant physiological functions will be presented during the oral lessons, with particular reference to nervous activity, sensory transduction, and muscle cellular function.
Assessment methods and criteria
FINAL ORAL EXAMINATION.
Students will be required to answer questions at least on three main topics among those treated during the course. Their preparation will be tested particularly on:
1. Trans-membrane transport mechanisms
2. Electrical and mechanical activity of cells
3. Signal transduction
In order for the oral examination to reach a sufficient score, students will be required to correctly answer on two of the tree topics.
The ability of the students to describe single molecular mechanisms and to discuss them with reference to the global cellular and organ physiology will be tested as well.