(S. Sukharev)

General Principles/Cell Physiology

1.       Overview (introductory lectures; chapters 3, 5)

Organization of a multicellular organism: basic principles, new abilities

Cellular specialization, organization, turnover

Body compartments, tissue and organ origination


2. Homeostasis, Control Systems, Signaling Pathways (lectures; chapters 6, 7)

            Cell-to-cell communication, signaling molecules and receptors

            Ligand-receptor interactions, affinities

            Specificity, amplification, feedback

            Major hormones and neurotransmitters

            Secondary messenger cascades (G-proteins, PLC-InsP3, Adenylyl cyclase, TK, NO)


3. Membrane transport and properties of epithelia (lectures, manual)

            Diffusion and passive permeability, facilitation

            Active transport (Michaelis-Menten), symport and exchange

            Epithelial cells: polarity, surface, types of junctions


4. Membrane potentials, impulse propagation and summation

            (lectures, purple manual, Chapters, 8 and 13, Appendix A)

            Distribution of ions, role of pumps. Nernst eqn, reversal potentials

            Goldman  eqn, relative permeabilities and role of leakage channels.

            Voltage-gated channels, Na and K currents, spike formation, refractory period

            Factors that determine velocity of spike propagation (lectures)

            Synaptic receptors and transmission, graded potentials (EPSP, IPSP),

            Spatial and temporal summation, pre- and postsynaptic inhibition


5.  Organization of the nervous system

Neuronal structure & function, branches of nervous system, basic neuroanatomy

Afferent and efferent pathways, reflexes and voluntary control of body movement


6.  Autonomic Nervous System (lectures; chapter 11)

            Branches of ANS: anatomy, physiology & differences

            Receptor types: characteristics & responses


7. Muscles and mechanisms of contraction (Chapter 12)

            Skeletal muscle (anatomy, contractile elements, intracellular compartments

            and mechanisms E-C coupling)

            Cardiac muscle (in comparison to the skeletal)

            Smooth muscle


8. Pharmacology (lectures)

            General characteristics of pharmacological agents

            Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics

Selected agents: how/ where do they act?


8. Blood (chapter 16)

            Plasma and cellular components, regulation of blood cell production/differentiation/elimination



9. Mechanisms of Immunity (chapter 22)


Cardiovascular Physiology


1. Hemodynamics (chapter 14)

            Pressure, flow, resistance, vessel cross-section and blood velocity

            Laminar and turbulent flow

            Anatomy and properties of vascular walls and the law of Laplace

            Blood as a non-ideal fluid


2. Heart (chapter 14)

            Anatomy: chambers and valves, cardiac cycle, ECG

            Autorhythmic & contractile cell mechanisms: the pacemaker

            Innervation, sympathetic and parasympathetic control of heart activity


3. Systemic Circulation (chapter 15)

            Blood flow and pressure profile across the systemic circuit

            Starling's Capillary Hypothesis and colloid-osmotic properties of the blood

            Role of lymph and causes of edema


4. Cardiovascular Function and Regulation (chapters 14, 25)

Systemic vs. pulmonary blood flow, Starling's Law of the heart

Cardiac output and venous return, effects of hypo- and hypervolumea

Effects of vascular compliance and resistance on blood pressure

            Baroreceptor reflex and renal mechanisms of blood pressure regulation

            Cardiovascular function during exercise

            Cardiovascular disease (arrhythmias, ischemia, hypertension)




Respiratory Physiology (chapters 17, 18)


1. The anatomy of lungs and airways (chapter 17, lectures)

            functions of pleura

            diameters of airways and aerodynamic resistance

            ciliary  airway epithelium and its function

            alveoli: surface area, structure of wall, cellular components


2.  Mechanics of breathing

            chest movements, cage muscles, diaphragm

            lung volumes and different regimes of respiration

            alveolar compliance and elasticity, surface tension and the role of the surfactant


3. Gas exchange and transport (chapter 18)

            components of the air: partial pressures, solubilities and diffusibilities

            transport of O2, Hemoglobin saturation curves, cooperativity, Bohr effect

            transport of CO2, chloride shift, Haldane effect


4. Circulation and gas exchange in tissues

            properties of the pulmonary circulation loop

            autoregulation of microcirculation in lungs, paracrine effects of gases

            pressures of O2 and CO2 in different body compartments

            ventilation/perfusion ratio


5.  Regulation of respiration

            anatomical areas in the brain responsible for respiratory rhythm

            chemoreceptors, their locations, connecting nerves and properties


6.  Pulmonary diseases

            compliance-related pulmonary disorders

            asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease

            pulmonary edema

            cystic fibrosis



Renal Physiology (lectures, chapter 19)


1. Anatomy (Chapter 19)

            urinary system and functions of kidney

            anatomy of kidney and nephron: capsule, DCT, loop, DCT, CD,  peritubular capillaries, vasa recta

            structure of glomerulus

            juxtaglomerular apparatus


2. Filtration

            glomerular filtration: pressures, volumes , osmolarities

            GFR regulation: myogenic, reflex, and tubuloglomerular mechanisms


3. Secretion and reabsorption (lectures)

            properties of active and facilitated transport, competitive inhibition

            types of molecules involved in epithelial transport:

                        pumps (ATPasas), co-transporters, exchangers

            relationships between filtration, excretion, secretion and reabsorption

examples of substances handled differently by kidney (Na+, glucose, amino acids,         organic ions, antibiotics, inulin)

            renal clearance (concentrations, fluxes, rates, see Manual)


4. The nephron: functions of different parts, volumes, permeabilities and osmolarities

            PCT, constitutive secretion and reabsorption

            loop of Henle and vasa recta: role in generation of standing osmotic gradient

            processes in DCT and collecting duct: regulation of water permeability (aquaporins, ADH)


5. Regulation of water and electrolyte homeostasis (Chapters 20, 23)

            water balance and responses to changes of osmolarity and dehydration

            Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system

Na+ and K+ metabolism,  Ca2+ metabolism, PTH

            acid/base balance: body buffers, roles of kidney and respiration



Gastrointestinal Physiology (lectures, chapter 21)


1. Anatomy of the GI tract:

                        segments and sphincters.

                        pharynx and larynx

                        anatomy and histology of the intestinal wall

types of intestinal motility


2. Digestive enzymes and glands by which they are secreted.

                        salivary secretion

                        gastric juices

                        pancreatic secretion

                        intestinal secretion

                        ionic composition and pH in different segments of GI tract

                        mucus and its role

                        major types of digestive proteases and peptidases

                        fat digestion (role of bile)

                        intestinal absorption of amino acids,

                        peptides, sugars and lipid components. GLUT  transporters.


3. Enteric nervous system (ENS) and regulation of digestion (see lectures)

                        functions of myenteric and submucosal plexi

ENS: long and short reflex loops

cephalic, gastric and intestinal phases of digestion

                        gastric hormones: gastrin, cholecystokinin, secretin, VIP, somatostatin

4. Mechanisms of taste perception (lectures)

5. Digestive disorders (lactose intolerance, gastritis, ulcers)


Regulation of Temperature, Metabolism & Growth (lectures, chapter 23)

 1. Thermogenesis & Control of Heat Loss

 2. Hyperthermia vs. Fever

3. Endocrine Control of Growth & Metabolism