72712 - Veterinary Physiology and Endocrinology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Pier Attilio Accorsi (Modulo 1) Marcella Spinaci (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Animal Biotechnology (cod. 8522)

Learning outcomes

The student knows the basic functioning of the digestive tract of monogastric animals, ruminants and bird.

The student knows the functioning of the major endocrine glands, knows the main methods of hormone assay, is able to evaluate the possible application of molecular biology in endocrinology field.

Course contents

Digestive Physiology

Digestive strategies in domestic species. regulation of appetite. Prehension, mastication. Salivary secretion; composition and functions of saliva. The stomach: contraction and secretions. The forestomach; contractions of reticulum and rumen and their regulation. Rumination, eructation. Microorganisms in the rumen: metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the forestomach. Absorption from the forestomach. The pancreas and the liver. Digestion and absorption in small intestine. The large intestine.

The course includes theoretical lectures on endocrinology of metabolism of domestic animals. The first part of the course involves elements of general endocrinology as synthesis of hormones, secretion and metabolism of hormones, their mechanism of action and correlation between nervous system and endocrine glands. Than the hormones that control growth and glucide, lipid, protein and mineral metabolism are discussed.

Physiology of Reproduction

General endocrinology: hormone chemistry, receptors and mechanisms of action. Pituitary and hypothalamic hormones. Puberty. Estrous cycle: generalaspects and hormonal control. Ovulation and corpus luteum. Luteolysis. Estrus synchronization. Male reproductive system: hormonal regulation of the reproductive function. Gametogenesis. Sperm capacitation. Morphopunctional evaluation of sperm cells. Sperm sexing. Sperm-egg interaction. Physiology of lactation.


Digestive Physiology and Endocrinology


Lecture notes provided directly by the teacher.


Aguggini G., Beghelli V., Giulio L.F. - Fisiologia degli animali domestici con elementi di etologia, UTET, Torino, 1998


Anatomia e Fisiologia degli Animali Domestici. Bortolami, Callegari, Beghelli. Calderini Edagricole

Fisiologia degli animali: dai geni agli organismi. Sherwood, Klandorf, Yancey, Zanichelli.

Fisiologia degli animali. Poli, Zanichelli.


Physiology and Endocrinology of Reproduction


Teaching material consists of the suggested textbooks (see below) and of the material available on the website of the teacher responsible for the course:http://www.unibo.it/docenti/marcella.spinaci


In particular, the suggested textbooks are:

·         Sjaastad O.V., Sand O., Hove K. - Fisiologia degli Animali Domestici – Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Rozzano (Milano).


·         Hafez E.S.E. e Hafez B. - Riproduzione negli Animali d'Allevamento. Libreria Universitaria.


·         Swenson M.J. e Reece W.O. - Dukes, Fisiologia degli Animali Domestici. Idelson-Gnocchi, Napoli.


Teaching methods

Theoretical lectures, practice, seminars, practical activities.

Assessment methods

The learning's assessment is through a final exam (oral), on both modules, which ensures the achievement of the educational objectives and the acquisition of knowledge occurred in the program of the course.

The final grade of the course "Veterinary Physiology and Endocrinology" comes from the final evaluations of the different teachings that make it up, weighted on the CFU of each course.

The final grade is originated by the student's demonstration to have acquired the knowledges and skills required and the ability to link between the various themes as well as the possession of a mastery of expression and a specific language of the subjects.

The obtained valuation has no time limits of validity.

The verbalization can occur in absence of the student.

The examination, in addition to the dates published on AlmaEsami (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm) can be supported at any time by appointment with the teachers.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, PC, laboratories.

Office hours

See the website of Pier Attilio Accorsi

See the website of Marcella Spinaci


Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.