cod. 1010938

Academic year 2024/25
3° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Fisiologia veterinaria (VET/02)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, the student knows the basics of laboratory animal science and the problems related to the anatomy and physiology of the animal species treated (mouse, rat, rabbit): the course aims to provide the student with the morphophysiological principles underlying biological functions and their integration for some systems such as the respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive-endocrinological systems. Furthermore, the student can learn about alternative ways of using experimental animals in biomedical research.


Knowledge of physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, cellular biology, histology

Course unit content

The aim of the course is to teach to students the general organization of the physiological processes and how they integrate in a living organism. The students will know the principles of cell and molecular phenomena that are responsible for physiological signaling by integrating the information provided in this course with previous knowledge in Physics, Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
The objective of the course is also to make the students identify the cause-effect relationships among biological processes that determine homeostasis and the control mechanisms that act on homeostasis in selected species that are used in animal experimentation. The main regulatory elements that guide the use of model animals for experimental purposes are also proposed.

Full programme

Objective: the student knows the organization of teaching, testing and the topics to be studied. The student wonders what are the open questions regarding animal experimentation. Topic: Organization of lessons and ways of verifying learning. Introduction to the program topics.
Basic principles of laboratory animal science
Objective: the student knows the basics of laboratory animal science: replacement, reduction; refinement.
Principles of standardization of animal experimentation.
Objective: the student knows the main sources of variability in animal experimentation. Genetic standardization, microbiological and interactions between animal and the environment.
Legislation that protects experimental animals
Introduction to the study of anatomy and physiology: The basic concepts governing the physiological approach to the study of laboratory animals
Morphophysiological elements of muscle tissue
Morphophysiological elements of the cardiovascular system: bases of the electrical and mechanical activity of the heart muscle in species of experimental interest (mouse, rat, rabbit)
Morphophysiological elements of the respiratory system: Evaluation of respiratory activity in experimental animals
Morphophysiological elements of the digestive system: description of the characteristics of the digestive system of herbivores and omnivores
Reproductive physiology: description of the reproductive cycles and main differences between the experimental species


Slides used for the lectures are available in the platforme Elly.
Additional material provided by the lecturer is made available on Elly.
Suggested text-books
Silverthorn, Fisiologia: un approccio integrato Ed. Pearson-Benjamin Cummings
LFM van Zuphen, V Baumans, AC Beynen. La scienza dell'animale da laboratorio. 1996, La Goliardica Pavese

Teaching methods

The course is managed with frontal lectures, with slides to illustrate the concepts. Occasionally material from the international literature, in English, is illustrated. Specialized websites will be analysed

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is carried out throughout an oral test. . 50% of the evaluation is reached by a critical presentation of an article focussed on topic discussed during the course. The remaining 50% is defined by an oral assessment of a topic covered by the theoretical course.

Other information

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