Learning outcomes of the course unit
To develop an understanding of the general physiological principles associated with the function of the different body systems in the horse.
Course contents summary
- Cell Physiology - Homeostasis. Cell structure and functions. Resting membrane potential and generation of action potential. Propagation of action potential.
- Physiology of the neuron - Structure and functions of neurons. Continuous and saltatory conduction. Signal transmission at synapses. Neuromuscular junction.
- Physiology of the nervous system - Overview of central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system.
- The blood - Functions and properties of blood. Blood cells, plasma and serum. Red blood cells: anatomy, physiology life cycle. Types of white blood cells and their functions. Hemostasis and blood clotting.
- Physiology of muscle and exercise - Functional anatomy of skeletal muscle. Muscle contraction. Excitation-contraction coupling. Muscle metabolism during exercise. Muscle fatigue. Types of skeletal muscle fibres. Exercise and skeletal muscle tissue. Physiology of smooth muscle.
- Endocrinology Overview on endocrine function. Pituitary hormones and hypothalamus-pituitary axis. Biological effects and function of the main hormones.
- Physiology of reproduction - Gonadotropin secretion and its control. Hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis. Ovarian hormone secretion and folliculogenesis. Ovulation and corpus luteum formation. The estrous cycle. Reproductive seasonality. Fertilization. Endocrinology of pregnancy. Pregnancy diagnosis. Parturition: endocrinology and behaviour. Post partum.
L. Sherwood, H. Klandorf, P. Yancey "Fisiologia degli animali", ed. Zanichelli;
J.G. Cunningham "Manuale di Fisiologia Veterinaria", Antonio Delfino Editore;
O.V. Sjaastad, K. Hove, O. Sand " Physiology of domestic animals", Scandinavian Veterinary Press.