Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Matricole pari
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on SCIENZE MOTORIE
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
First Semester



Course description

The class is focused on the comprehension of the basic mechanisms underlying the function of the principal organs and systems of the human body. Particularly, at the end of the class the student will possess:
- Deep knowledge of the physiological mechanisms underlying the functions of following systems: central, peripheral and autonomous nervous system; skeletal and smooth muscle twitch; respiratory system and alveolar gas exchange; cardiocirculatory system; glomerular filtration in the kidney; bone tissue structure and Calcium deposition and re-adsorption. (Ability of comprehension).
-Ability to explain basic physiological concepts by means of X-Y graphs and the main Physiology Laws (Applied Comprehension Ability);

-The ability to distinguish physiological and non-physiological functions of the main organs and systems of the human body (Decision-making autonomy).
- Utilize a proper scientific language for communication either to specialists or naive people, not belonging to the motor sciences working environment (Communication skills.)

- To deepen concepts of interest, by autonomously selecting the appropriate sources of information (Learning ability).
Basic concepts of anatomy, biology, biochemistry.


Basic concepts of anatomy, biology, biochemistry.


1. Cellular membrane and transportation of different molecules. Passive diffusion, primary active transport and secondary active transport.

2. Ion flux through semi-permeable membranes; generation of the membrane potential; Nernst and GHK equations. Resting membrane potential in neural cells; chemical and electrical gradients across membranes.

3. Generation of nerve pulses. Voltage-gated and ligand-gated channels. Action potentials and graduate potentials.

4. Gap-junctions and electrical synapses. Excitatory and inhibitory synapses.

5. Ionotropic post-synaptic receptors. Metabotropic receptors and intracellular pathways activated by these receptors.

6. Sensory system. Exteroceptive and proprioceptive sensibility; muscle fuse and stretch reflex; Golgi’s tendon and strength reflex.

7. Phototransduction. Epithelial organization of the retina. Cones and rods, enzymatic cascade of the phototransduction.

8. Motor system. Pyramidal and extrapyramidal motor pathways. Somato-topic organization of spinal motorneurons. Types of motor units FF, FR e S.

9. Skeletal muscle. Structure of muscle cells, sarcomere structure, regulatory proteins.

10. Mechanisms underlying muscle twitch. Regulatory proteins of the thin filament in skeletal and smooth muscles; Autonomic innervation of smooth muscle.

11. Aerobic and anaerobic metabolism utilized by muscle cells. White and red muscle fibers and their preferred metabolism. Lactate production by glycolytic fibers.

12. Types of cardiac muscle cells; working myocites, pacemaker myocites and conduction myocites. Authoritmicity in pacemaker cells and absence of authoritmicity in working myocites. Autonomous control of heart rate.

13. Respiratory system. Inhalation and exhalation muscles; lung pressure and pleural pressure during respiratory cycle. P-V relationship during inhalation and exhalation. Ventilation/perfusion ratio during gas exchange. Respiratory frequency. Gas diffusion through alveolar membrane and capillary endothelium. Blood gas transportation.

14. Anatomic structure of kidneys. Pressure differences underlying ultrafiltration in the glomerulus. Organization of the filtration barrier. Tubular functions.

15. Bone tissue. Main bone types in human body. Spongy bone and compact bone.

1. Cell membrane and transportation of different molecules.
2. Properties of excitable membranes.
3. Generation of nerve pulses.
4. Signal transmission.
5. Types of membrane receptors.
6. Sensory system.
7. Phototransduction.
8. Motor system.
9. Skeletal muscle.
10. Mechanisms underlying muscle twitch.
11. Aerobic and anaerobic energy metabolism utilized by muscle cells.
12. Heart physiology and circulation.
13. Respiratory system.
14. Renal system.
15. Bone tissue.

Teaching Methods

The class is performed by means of frontal lessons


1. Fisiologia, Autori vari, a cura di E. D'Angelo e A. Peres, Edi Ermes
2. Any book related to Physiology for three-years degree in Motor Science.

Learning assessment

Aim of the examination test will be to ascertain the achievement of training objectives reported above. By means of an oral test, we will ascertain the level of knowledge of the different topics, scientific language skills, the ability to comunicate concepts and to correlate different topics. The student's ability to explain scientific concepts of physiology by means of X-Y graphs and to gain additional information in published literature will be also assessed.

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