Regulatory Biology – Physiology

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1/3

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description
  1. Homeostasis a/ The organism as a system (the term and characteristics of system, systemic approach to the living organisms; components and relationships within the living systems, operation of the regulatory systems). b/ Homeostasis (the 'milieu interne'; storages and their management, the rate of the processes; Cannon's homeostasis theory ; stability and variability; integrity, readiness, resource minimalisation, optimalisation; a new dynamic approach to homeostasis).

  2. Intercellular communication I. a/ Contact communication: cell-adhesion molecules and gap junctions; electric synapses. Tissue cell-junctions, blood cells leaving the vessels, inflamatory processes.

  3. Intercellular communication II. a/ Intercellular communication by diffusible messengers: metabolic, paracrine, autocrine, endocrine, and neurocrine communication. b/ Brain microcircuits and larger regulatory networks.

  4. Integration of the metabolism I. a/ Phases of food intake and metabolic processing: preabsorptive (cephalic, gastric and enteral) phase, absorptive phase, postabsorptive phase. The role of the GI-hormones in preparing for food processing; the gastro-entero-pancreatic relationships.

  5. Integration of the metabolism II. b/ Organs of metabolic significance (liver, muscles, adipose tissue, kidneys, blood, nervous tissue) and their operation. The metabolic homeostasis. c/ Regulation of food-intake: hunger, satiety. Peripheral and central factors and mechanisms.

  6. Regulation of the volume, osmotic conditions and pH of the body fluids I. a/ Fluid intake and urine production. Regulation of concentrating and diluting urine: relationships of ADH, aldosterone, ANP and angiotensine. Integration of thirst and drinking. b/ Relationship between cell-metabolism and osmosis. Osmotic regulation of the chyme-passage and of food absorption.

  7. Regulation of the volume, osmotic conditions and pH of the body fluidsII. a/ Buffer-systems of the body-fluids (chemical and biological characterisation). The effect of breathing and kidney functions on the pH of the body fluids; integration of the regulation.

  8. Relationship of the nervous-, endocrine- and immune-systems I. a/ Visceral and behavioural regulatory functions of the central nervous system and their relationship. The autonomic and the enteral nervous system. The somatosensory system. Integrative functions of the hypothalamus and of the limbic structures. The cognitive (psychological and mental) functions. b/ The endocrine system and its relationship to the nervous system. Neuro-endocrine and endocrine-neural transformers.

  9. Relationship of the neuronal-, endocrine- and immune-systems II. a/ Overview of the immune-system. Factors of the humoral and cell-mediated immunity. Main citokine factors of the immun-system: interleukins, limphokines, monokines. b/ The neuro-immune modulation and its mechanisms. General principles of the neuronal modulation of the immune functions.

  10. Relationship of the neuronal-, endocrine- and immune-systems III. a/ The immune-neuromodulation and its mechanisms. Neural effects of the immune-cells and limphokins. Relationship of the monocyte-macrophag cell system to the nervous system. (The monokinsand the sleep. Interleukins and neuroendocrine responses. Fever and the acute-phase reaction) b/ Contact communication of the immune- and nervous system. Common regulatory processes in cell proliferation, apoptosis, and morphogenesis.

  11. Organisation of the behaviour. a/ The behaviour (definition of the behaviour; representation of the internal and external environment: drives and emotions; direct determinants of the behaviour: motivations; action- and reaction-patterns) b/. Organisation of the behaviour (integration of the sensory and motor functions; forms and the functions of communication; behaviour and homeostasis; disordered behaviours; behaviour and self-control)

  12. Stressors and stress response. Defense mechanisms I. a/ Relationship of the extero- and interoceptors to the factors of the external and internal environment. Excitability and tolerance. The health. Meaning and inbalance of the homeostasis: stressors and stress response. b/ Response of the cells to a stress: stress-proteins.

  13. Stressors and stress response. Defense mechanisms II. a/ Reactions of the organism to organismic stressors. Health, stress, diseases. Types of stress: physiological and psychological (social). Phases of the stress response: alarm reaction, general adaptation syndrome, exhaustion. b/ Physiology of the stress response. Sympathetic neuronal output, adrenal cortex and medulla. Central neuronal circuits regulating stress-response: hypothalamus, amygdala-complex, brain stem, forebrain. Initiation and limitation of the stress-response. Stress and the brain transmitter pathways.

  14. Stressors and stress response. Defense mechanisms III. e/ Emotions. Stress-induced emotions: fear, anxiety. Dominance. Coping behaviour. Personality types. Stress and diseases. Ethiology of the 'civilisation' cardio-vascular disorders

  15. Rhythmic functions, adaptation to the environmental influences. a/ Daily rhythms. The structural and functional ground of the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. Long-term rhythms.

  • Berne, R.M. and Levy, M.N. Physiology. Mosby, Baltimore, 2009, ISBN 9780323080309

  • LR Squires eds. Fundamental Neuroscience. Academic Press, 2013, ISBN 9780123858702.

  • Kandel, E.R.: Principles of Neural Science, McGraw Hill Professional, 2013, ISBN 9780071390118

  • Carlson, N.R. Physiology of Behavior, 11th ed., Pearson, 2012, ISBN 9780205239399