Physiology A - L
Module physiology I

Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: ROSARIO GULINO

Expected Learning Outcomes

- To learn how human body can maintain homeostasis.
- To familiarize with the functional mechanisms of cells, tissues and organs, as well as their integrative properties.
- Acquiring the main principles of cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and digestive functions and their integration.
- To learn the nutrient properties and their utilization by the organims, as well as energy request and consumption.
- To learn the adaptive properties of the human body to exercise and environmental modifications.

Course Structure

The contents of the course will be illustrated by the teacher during seminars. All materials (slides) will be provided to the students. Learning assessment may also be carried out remotely, by using online platforms, should particular conditions and regulations require it. In this case, it would be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme outlined in the Syllabus. 

Required Prerequisites

To gain access to the exams, students must have already passed the exams of Biochemistry and Anatomy, together with those included in the first year of the course.

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is mandatory, in line with the regulation of the course.

Detailed Course Content

Introduction to physiology: homeostasis and its control mechanisms.


Cardiovascular system

Blood and lymph: main properties and functions. Haemostasis.

The heart: myocardial excitability; electrical and mechanical events of the cardiac cycle; nervous and hormonal control of heart functions. Cardiac output and heart rate, and their control mechanisms. The circulation: properties and functions of arterial, venous and lymphatic vessels; the microcirculation; blood pressure and its control mechanisms.


Respiratory system

Functional anatomy of the airways and lungs. Respiratory mechanics; lung compliance. Alveoli and gas exchange; haemoglobin and oxygen transport; carbon dioxide transport. Ventilation and its control.


Urinary system

Functional anatomy of the kidneys and urinary tract. Body compartments and liquid balance.

The nephron: structure; glomerular and tubular functions; clearance and control of renal flows.

Control of micturition.


Integrated control of the cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems.


Control of body temperature and pH.


Gastrointestinal system

Metabolism and energy balance. Properties of nutrients. Functional anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract. Enteric nervous system. Motility and secretory activities. Digestion and absorption.



Textbook Information

Suggested books:

- Human Physiology: An integrated Approach. By D.U. Silverthorn. Ed. Pearson. 8th edition.

- Textbook of Medical Physiology. By Guyton and Hall. Ed. Elsevier. 14th edition.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Introduction to physiology: homeostasis and its control mechanismsSuggested books
2Blood and lymph: main properties and functionsSuggested books
3HaemostasisSuggested books
4Myocardial excitabilitySuggested books
5Electrical and mechanical events of the cardiac cycleSuggested books
6Nervous and hormonal control of heart functionsSuggested books
7Cardiac output and heart rate, and their control mechanismsSuggested books
8Properties and functions of arterial vesselsSuggested books
9Properties and functions of venous and lymphatic vesselsSuggested books
10Capillary functionsSuggested books
11Blood pressure and its control mechanismsSuggested books
12Functional anatomy of the airways and lungsSuggested books
13Respiratory mechanicsSuggested books
14ComplianceSuggested books
15Lung volumesSuggested books
16Alveoli and gas exchangeSuggested books
17Haemoglobin and oxygen transportSuggested books
18Carbon dioxide transportSuggested books
19Ventilation and its controlSuggested books
20Functional anatomy of the kidneys and urinary tractSuggested books
21Body compartments and liquid balanceSuggested books
22The nephron: structure; glomerular and tubular functionsSuggested books
23Control of micturitionSuggested books
24Integrated control of cardiovascular, respiratory and urinary systemsSuggested books
25Control of body temperatureSuggested books
26Control of pHSuggested books
27Metabolism and energy balanceSuggested books
28Nutrients and their propertiesSuggested books
29Functional anatomy of gastrointestinal tractSuggested books
30Enteric nervous systemSuggested books
31Motility and secretory activities of the gastrointestinal systemSuggested books
32Digestion and absorptionSuggested books

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Knowledge will be tested by means of a written examination (true/false test).

The evaluation will primarily check the ability to handle the logical flow of the discipline, and secondarily the acquisition of detailed contents.

The written examination may be followed by an oral exam, at the discretion of the lecturer or if requested by individual students.

Online oral exams will be possible in particular circumstances.