VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY I
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge of the main physiological functions of domestic animals in a homeostatic perspective.
Course contents summary
Physiology of the nervous system
Overview of the nervous system.
Somatic sensations. Pain sensations. 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 motoneurons. 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 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.
Regulation of body temperature
Major aspects. Normal body temperature in mammals and hypothalamus. Thermoneutral zone. Adaptation to cold. Adaptation to heat.
Theorectical lessons and practical training
Assessment methods and criteria