Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2019/2020 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Patrizia Ambrogini From Monday to Friday by appointment to be make by email or telephon (0722/304292)
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Sanitary Nutritional and Environmental Biology (LM-6)
Curriculum: Percorso comune
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide knowledge about the functioning of some organs of the human body and the general mechanisms of control of their integrated working under normal conditions.


The program includes the following topics, listed in the order as they will be presented during the course:

1. Central control of homeostasis: Homeostasis, homeostatic control mechanisms; Hypothalamus: general organizational principles and functional organization, effector systems; General organization of autonomic nervous system: sympathetic division, parasympathetic division, enteric division, neurotransmitters and receptors, pharmacology outline, autonomic control of homeostasis; Neuroendocrine systems: posterior pituitary gland and its relation to the hypothalamus, hypopthalamus-pituitary-target gland (organ) axis and its regulation.

2. Cardiovascular system: Physiologic anatomy of heart; Electrical activity of cardiac cells: action potentials and its conduction, electrocardiography; Fundamental properties of cardiac activity and their regulation: chronotropism, batmotropism, dromotropism, inotropism; Mechanical activity of heart: cardiac muscle cells, excitation-contraction coupling, length-tension relationship; the cardiac cycle: diastole, presystole, systole, function of the valves, blood pressure and volume curve, heart sounds, arterial pulse, venous pulse, cardiac output and its regulation; Blood circulation: overview of the circulation, histo-functional characteristics of vessels; arterial system: elasticity of arteries, arterial pressure and its regulation; microcirculation: morpho-functional organization, microvascular exchange, regulation of microcirculation; venous system: morpho-functional organization, venous return mechanism.

3. Gastrointestinal system: Motility: electrical and mechanical activity of smooth muscle cells, propulsive movements – peristalsis – mixing movements, mastication, swallowing, esophagus motility, stomach motility, movements of small and large intestine, defecation; Secretory functions: salivary secretion, esophageal secretion, gastric secretion, pancreatic secretion, biliary secretion, intestinal secretion; Digestion and absorption; Nervous and hormonal regulation of gastrointestinal functions. 

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

According to Dublin descriptors, at the end of the course and for passing the exam, students are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

D1- KNOWLEDGE AND CAPACITY OF UNDERSTANDING: to possess good knowledge and understanding of the human physiology topics, so as to be able to set a logical and complete discussion about theoretical aspects of the discipline, being also able to make connections among the treated topics;

D2- CAPACITY TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: to apply the acquired knowledge to the discussion of different issues within the human physiology;

D3- JUDGEMENT AUTONOMY: to have acquired autonomy in the application of knowledge, making independent decisions and choices in the face of different aspects inherent human physiology;

D4- COMMUNICATION  SKILLS: to be able to communicate, clearly and comprehensively, the acquired knowledge, exposing with language property and scientific terms, elaborating an autonomous thinking using the provided information about the diverse issues presented during the course;

D5- LEARNING ABILITY: to analyze and understand scientific texts/articles, also in English, about the topics inherent human physiology and to use them for study and research.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment




Class attendance is recommended.

Students need to have adequate knowledge of cellular physiology.

Course books

In alternative:

- Guyton and Hall, Textbook of Medical Physiology,Thirteenth Edition, 2016, Elsevier

- Berne & Levy, Physiology, Seventh Edition, 2018, Elsevier Inc.

For further information: Principi di Neuroscienze, E. R. Kandel, J. H. Schwartz, T. M. Jessel, S. A. Siegelbaum, A. J. Hudspeth, IV Edizione, 2014, CEA 


Oral exam addressed to monitor compliance with Dublin Descriptor requirements. The exam will consist of 3 questions throughout the course program topics and particular attention will be paid to the verification of the student's ability to make connections among the topics. 

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