BIOLOGICAL MEMBRANE PHYSIOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
To provide students (i) basic notions on the mechanisms of cellular membrane excitability and on intracellular ion dynamics, (ii) detailed description of significant examples (heart, nervous system), (iii) description of modern techniques for electrophysiological and optical studies of membrane excitability and intra- and inter-cellular dynamics.
knowledge of the basic principles of physics, mathematics, and cellular biology
Course contents summary
1 Passive electrical properties of the cell membrane. 2 Nernst and Gibbs-Donnan equilibrium. 3 Goldmann-Hodgkin-Katz equations. 4 Membrane ion channels. 5 Current-voltage relation for ohmic membranes and for voltage-dependent membranes. 6 Introduction to experimental techniques for the study of membrane electrical properties (current clamp and voltage clamp). 7 Ohmic membranes, non-ohmic membranes, voltage and time-dependent membranes. 8 How to measure membrane passive electrical properties. 9 The patch clamp technique. 10 From the single channel current to the whole cell current. 11 Hodgkin-Huxley theory of ion channel gating. 12 Kinetic reconstruction of Sodium current using voltage clamp data. 13 Membrane excitability and action potential. 14 Local and propagated action potential. 15 cable theory and electrotonus. 16 Electrotonic interaction between cells and gap junctions: structure and gating. 17 An example from cell to bedside: the heart. 18 The cardiac action potential and the corresponding ion currents. 19 Ionic mechanism of pacemaker cells in the heart. 20 Ionic mechanism of the refractoriness within the cardiac muscle. 21 Molecular mechanism of sympatic and parasympatic regulation of the heart. 22 Excitation-contraction coupling in the heart. 23 Calcium induced – calcium release. 24 Intracellular calcium dynamics. 25Rest decay and rest potentiation.
V. Taglietti, C. CasellaElementi di fisiologia e biofisica della cellulaSocietà Editrice La Goliardica Pavese, Pavia, 1991B. HilleIonic channels of excitable membranes (2nd edition)Sinauer Associates, Inc., 1992D.J. AidleyThe physiology of excitable cells (4th edition)Cambridge Univ Pr, 1998
Oral teaching through PowerPoint presentations
Assessment methods and criteria
final oral examination