00444 - Human Physiology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have the knowledge of the basic principles of the cell physiology of the excitable tissues and of the integrative mechanisms of body functions in humans. He will also be able to describe the physiology of organs and functional systems of the human body. Attending specific seminars, the student will acquire complementary information on some of the topics covered during the classes

Course contents


Cell physiology. Functional systems of the human body. The cell as functional unit of the human body. Principles of body homeostasis. Compositions of the intra and extracellular milieus. Transport mechanisms through the plasma membrane

Nervous tissue. Functional organization of the nervous tissue. Cell types of the nervous tissue. Functional properties of neuronal cells. Communication mechanisms in the nervous tissue

Muscular tissue. Functional anatomy of the skeletal and smooth muscles. Molecular basis of contraction in skeletal and smooth muscles. Excitation-contraction coupling. Modulatory mechanisms of muscular strength in skeletal and smooth muscles


Nervous system. Organization of the nervous system. Functional processes of central and peripheral nervous system. Functional mechanisms of sensory systems. Control mechanisms of body movement

Endocrine system. Organization of the endocrine system. Classification of hormones. Action mechanisms of hormones. Control mechanisms of hormone secretion. Endocrine control of growth.

Immune system. Anatomy of the immune system. Innate and acquired immunity. Immune response pathways. Neuro-endocrine interactions in the immune response


Cardiovascular system. Functional organization of the cardiovascular system, Electrical and mechanical functions of the hearth. Regulatory mechanisms of cardiac activity. Blood composition. Functional processes of the circulatory system. Short and long-term regulation of blood pressure

Respiratory system. Functional organization of the respiratory system. Mechanics of pulmonary ventilation. Mechanisms of regulation of pulmonary ventilation. Mechanisms of transport of biological gasses in the blood.

Urinary system. Functional organization of urinary system. Process of urinary production. Regulatory mechanisms of hydro-saline and acid-base homeostasis. Hormonal regulation of the diuresis. 

Digestive system. Functional organization of the digestive system. Functional processes of the gastrointestinal tract. Regulatory mechanisms of the metabolism. Thermoregulation


Silverthorn DU - Fisiologia Umana: un approccio integrato. Ed Pearson (settima edizione)

Teaching methods

The course is organized in 3 teaching modules in which the classes cover various topics of the human physiology

Module 1: Cell physiology and physiology of excitable tissues (24 hours)

Principles of cell physiology

Cell physiology of the nervous system

Cell physiology of the skeletal and smooth muscle tissues

Module 2: Integrative physiology (24 hours)

Nervous system

Endocrine system

Immune system

Module 3: System physiology (44 hours)

Cardiovascular system

Respiratory system

Urinary system

Digestive system

Reproductive system


In addition 12 hours will be devoted to specific seminars on topics related to the teaching program


Assessment methods

The final evaluation of the student will be assessed with a written dissertation consisting of open questions on the arguments of the program (1 for  modules 1 and 2, 2 for module 3). Alternatively the student can go through an oral examination consisting of questions on module 1 and 2 and 3

To register for the final exam the student must use the web page AlmaEsami of Unibo.

Teaching tools

During the classes powerpoint presentations will be used. All the material used will be uploaded on the Unibo portal

Powerpoint presentations are conceived to be solely an introduction to the textbook learning

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Ferroni

See the website of Marco Caprini

See the website of Barbara Monti