Learning outcomes of the course unit
to develop an understanding of the general physiological processes in domestic animals. The course will address the concepts associated with functions of the cell and its different compartments,blood and defense, physiology of the nervous system, muscular system and gastrointestinal system.
Course contents summary
· Cell physiology
Homeostasis. Cell structure and functions.
Transport across the plasma membrane.
Resting membrane potential and generation of action potential.
· Physiology of the nervous system
Overview of the nervous system.
Structure and functions of neurons. Propagation of nerve impulses. Continuous and saltatory conduction. Signal trasmission at synapses. Electrical and chemical synapses. Neurotransmitters and cell receptors. Post-receptorial signal transduction mechanisms. Spatial and temporal summation. Sensory receptors and adaptation. Somatic sensations. Pain sensations. Neuromuscolar junction.
Spinal cord functional anatomy. Reflexes and reflex arcs. Pathophysiology of the spinal cord. Skeletal muscle stretch receptors: the muscle spindle and the Golgi tendon organ. Sensory pathways. Thalamus. Somatosensory cerebral cortex.
Brain stem functions. Cranial nerves.
Brain’s control of posture and locomotion. Upper and lower motonerurons. Pyramidal and extrapyramidal systems. Cerebellar control of motor activity. Cerebellar inputs and ouputs.
Integrative functions of the cerebrum. Wakefulness and sleep. EEG.
Organization and functions of the autonomic nervous system. Anatomical divisions. Neurotrasmitters and synaptic function. Effects on specific structures. Hypothalamus and homeostasis. Hypothalamus and control of pituitary function.
· Physiology of special senses
· Physiology of muscle and exercise
Overview of muscular tissue. Functional anatomy of skeletal muscle. Muscle contraction and relaxation. Excitation-contraction coupling. Motor units. Muscle twitch and tetanus. Isometric and isotonic contractions.
Muscle metabolism during exercise. Muscle fatigue. Types of skeletal muscle fibers. Exercise and skeletal muscle tissue.
Microscopic anatomy of smooth muscle. Physiology of smooth muscle.
· Physiology of digestion
Overview of digestive function and its control. Prehension and mastication. Compositions and functions of saliva. Deglutition. Esophagus. Functional anatomy of stomach. Gastric juice. Control of gastric motility and secretion. Function and composition of pancreatic exocrine secretion. Control of pancreatic juice. Role and composition of bile. Gallbladder. Functional anatomy of small and large intestine. Chemical digestion and absorption in the intestine. Intestinal motility and its control. Vomiting and defecation. Digestion in the ruminant stomachs: the fermentative processes. Substrates and products of fermentative digestion. Reticolorumen motility and its control. Eructation. Rumination. Equine large hindgut function.
· The blood·
Functions and properties of blood. Physical characteristics of blood. Blood cells, plasma and serum. Plasma proteins.
Red blood cells: anatomy, physiology, life cycle.
Types of white blood cells and their functions. Cell- mediated and antibody-mediated immunity.
Hemostasis and blood clotting. Platelets.
· Aguggini G., Beghelli V., Giulio L.F. “ Fisiologia degli animali domestici con elementi di etologia”, UTET, Torino;
· Swenson M.J., Reece W.O. “Duke’s Fisiologia degli animali domestici”, Idelson-Gnocchi, Napoli;
· Sjaastad O.V., Hove K., Sand O. “Physiology of domestic animals”, Scandinavian Veterinary Press;
· Cunningham J.G. “Textbook of Veterinary Physiology”, Blackwell Science, Germany;
· Guyton A.C. “Trattato di fisiologia medica”, Piccin, Padova.