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    Physiology Course for Dental Students  

PSL 211




-          Human Physiology and Mechanism of Disease, by: (Guyton and Hall)




       -    Human Physiology, by:  (Stuart Ira Fox)

-        Review of Medical Physiology, by: (Ganong)

-        Concise Human Physiology, by: (M. Y. Sukkar)




This course is providing information regarding the lectures, practical sessions and tutorials. It also gives the timetable of various assessments including regular quizzes, continuous assessments and final examinations, all of which contribute to your grade at the end of the year. The students are strongly advised to:-


1-      Attend lectures, practicals and tutorials. Not to skip any of the quizzes, as they are

designed to check whether students are coping adequately with the course or are having difficulties with particular topics and are lagging behind. Quizzes marks are also important to the final grade.


2-      Make sure, as soon as possible, after a lecture or practical, that the student has          understood the objectives of that session. If she can do this on the same             day of the lecture or practical, it will be much better.


3-      Actively participate in the practicals whenever possible. Most students find that they can understand the topic more easily if they are subjected to experiments in the laboratory. Student is advised to read the practical notes before coming to the laboratory (sometimes it is possible to read about a topic before attending a lecture! This is highly recommended, as it will help you understand the topic better.)



4-      To be careful and not to depend solely on handouts. If she has the time to  write a

few notes of her own, as well as read the recommended textbook; she will find the topics easier to understand. If she is having any difficulties, she should ask a member of staff for help. Do not be shy! All the teaching staff is approachable and will be happy to answer your questions.


Weekly programme:      Lectures                                  Mon    8 - 9   A.M.

                                                                                                     Tues   8 - 12  P.M.

                             Tutorial                                   Tues 10 - 12  P.M.

                             Practical                                  Sat    2 - 4     P.M.






§  Blood physiology

§  Nerve and Muscle Physiology

§  Cardiovascular physiology

§  Respiratory physiology



§  Renal physiology

§  Endocrinology

§  Central Nervous System and the Special Senses.






During this time, students will discuss topics taught in the lectures, apply this knowledge to problems particularly relevant to students of Dentistry and take quizzes.





No. of Lectures










§  Introduction to physiology

§  Cell membrane and body fluids

§  Blood physiology

§  Nerve and Muscle

§  ANS

§  Cardiovascular physiology

§  Respiratory physiology




§  Renal and acid-base physiology

§  Endocrinology

§  Gastrointestinal physiology

§  Central Nervous System

§   Special Senses.





*        TERM I:


1.     Cell Membrane and Body Fluids:



Intoduction to Physiology:

§  Cell membrane, Structure and Functions.

§  Body fluid composition.

§  Transport across the cell membrane.


2.     Blood Physiology:


§  Composition & Functions of Blood.

§  Functions of Plasma Proteins.


§  Erythropoesis:

§  Site, Regulation & Factors Affecting.

Types and functions of WBCs.

§  Phagocytosis.

§  Monocyte-Macrophage System.

§  Immunity in brief.

1st Practical on Blood


Blood groups

§   ABO System

§   Rh System

§  Complications of Blood Transfusion

Haemostasis and blood coagulation.

1.  Events of hemostasis

     Initiation of coagulation.

  • The Extrinsic pathway.
  • The Intrinsic pathway.
  • Interaction between both the pathways.

2.  Mechanism of Coagulation.

Conversion of prothrombin to thrombin.

§  Conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin

§   Formation of a clot.

3.  Bleeding Disorders & Anti-Coagulants.



§  Types and classification.

§  Clinical importance

§  Physiological basis of treatment.

§  Jaundice.


3.     Nerve and Muscle:


Basic Physics of Membrane Potentials and resting membrane potential.

§   The Nerve Action Potential.

§   Plateau in some Action Potentials.

§   Physiological Anatomy of Skeletal Muscle.

2nd  Practical on Blood

Blood Group, BT, CT

§  Molecular Mechanism of Muscle Contraction.

§  Molecular Characteristics of the Contractile Filaments.

§  Initiation of Muscle Contraction.

Excitation-Contraction Coupling.

Mechanics of Skeletal Muscle Contraction.

  • The Motor Unit
  • Summation of Muscle Contraction

Muscle Fatigue.


4.     Autonomic Nervous System:


Quiz 1 will proceed CD session.

Nerve and Muscle

§   Autonomic Nervous System.


5.     Cardiovascular Physiology:


Heart Muscle: Heart as a pump.

  • Physiology of the cardiac muscle.
  • Properties of the cardiac muscle.
  • Cardiac excitation-contraction coupling.

Cardiac cycle:

  • Systole and Diastole.
  • Function of the Atria as a “Primer” pump.
  • Function of the Ventricles as a pump.

Function of the valves. Cardiac cycle:

  • Aortic pressure curves.
  • Relationship of heart sounds.
  • Regulation of the heart pump.

§  Effects of K+ and Ca++.


1st  Practical on CVS  (Heart Sounds)

Rhythmical excitation of the heart.

§  Specialized excitatory and conductive system of the heart.

§  Control of excitation and conduction in the heart.

§  S.A. node as a pacemaker.

§  Control by the cardiac nerves.

The Electrocardiogram

Cardiac Action Potential, Cardiac Cycle, Circulation.

  • Overview of the circulation.
  • Pressure difference throughout the circulatory system.

Systemic and pulmonary circulation.                                          Cardiac output and Venous Return.

  • Factors affecting cardiac output and venous return.

Blood pressure(B.P)

  • Definition.

Factors affecting B.P

1st Continuous Assessment Examination

2nd  Practical on CVS

(E.C.G.)                                                                                            Regulation of blood pressure.

  • Nervous regulation (Short term regulation).
  • Role of Baroreceptors and Chemoreceptors

The central nervous system’s Ischemic response.                   Role of the Kidney in long term regulation of blood pressure.

The Renin-Angiotensin -Aldosterone System.         

3rd  Practical on CVS



6.     Respiratory Physiology:


Pulmonary ventilation.

  • Mechanics of pulmonary ventilation.
  • Respiratory muscles.
  • Movement of air in and out of the lungs.
  • Various pressures in the lungs.

Surfactant and surface tension                                             Pulmonary volumes &  capacities,

  • Pulmonary volumes.
  • Pulmonary capacities.
  • Alveolar Ventilation.
  • Dead Spaces.

§   Functions of Respiratory passages.

QUIZ 2 will precede this lecture.

Pulmonary circulation.

§  Physio-anatomy of Pulmonary    Circulation.

§  Pressures in the pulmonary system.

§  Pulmonary capillary dynamics.

Pulmonary edema                                                                                  Transport of gasses between heart and the lungs.

  • Diffusion of O2 and CO2.
  • Partial pressure of individual gasses.

Diffusion of gasses through the respiratory membrane. Loading and de-loading of gasses at alveolar and tissue levels.

§  Loading of O2 at alveolar level.

§  De-loading of O2 at tissue level.

§  Loading of CO2 at tissue level.

De-loading of CO2 at alveolar level

1st Practical on Respiration.

Simple Spirometr                                   y                                                                               Oxy-Hemoglobin dissociation curve.

  • Factors affecting it.
  • Transport of O2.
  • Transport of CO2.

§  Transport of CO.                                                                  Regulation of respiration

  • Respiratory centers.
  • DRG.
  • Pneumotaxic center.
  • VRG.
  • Hearing-Breuer reflex.
  • Chemical control of respiration.

Peripheral chemoreceptors and the role of O2.


*      TERM II:


7.     Gastro-intestinal Physiology:

Gastro-Intestinal tract.

  • Parts of the oral cavity.
  • Salivary glands.
  • Secretion of saliva.
  • Contents of saliva.
  • Functions of saliva.

Control of salivary secretion.

  • Digestion of CHO in the mouth.
  • Stomach and its functions.
  • Gastric glands.
  • Gastric secretion and digestion.
  • Regulation of gastric secretion.

Deglutition and vomiting

Pancreatic secretions.

  • Physio-anatomy of the Pancreas.
  • Enzymes of the pancreas and the intestinal brush border.

§   Regulation of the pancreatic secretion.


Gastric Secretion.

  • Contents and functions of gastric juice.

§  Peptic ulcers.

Liver, bile and the billiary tree.

  • Pysio-anatomy.
  • Bile and its secretion.
  • Constituents of bile.

Gall bladder and its functions.

Emptying of the gall bladder.                                          Process of digestion and absorption.

  • Digestion and absorption of CHO.
  • Digestion and absorption of Proteins.
  • Digestion and absorption of Fats.

Role of bile salts in fat absorption.


8.     Renal Physiology:


Functional Anatomy of the Kidneys.

§  Renal Circulation. Abnormalities of Hypo-Hypersecretion.

Glomerular Filtration.

§  G.F.R.

Concept of Clearance

§  Tubular Transport.

§  Re-absorption

§  Secretion.

1st  Practical on Kidney


§  Normal control subject

§  Subject given Saline

§  Subject given water

§  Subject given Lasix

§  Modes of action of all tests.

§  Urine Concentration and Countercurrent Mechanism.


Buffer Systems. Role of the Respiratory and Renal Systems.

Tutorial: CD Session


9.     Endocrinology:


Quiz 1 (II term)

Introduction to Endocrinology.

  • Nature of hormones.

§  Mechanisms of hormone action.

  • Receptors.

§  Second messenger systems. (basic concepts)

The Pituitary gland, its functions and relation to the Hypothalamus.

  • Hypothalamic control of the ant. Pituitary.
  • Hormones of the ant. Pituitary.
  • Hormones of the post. Pituitary.

Human Growth Hormone. (hGH)

  • Functions of the hGH.
  • Metabolic effects of hGH.
  • Regulation of hGH.

§  Abnormalities of Hypo-Hypersecretion.

Thyroid Hormone

  • Steps in the synthesis of thyroid hormones.
  • Functions of thyroid hormones.
  • Regulation of thyroid hormones.

§  Diseases of the thyroid hormones.

Insulin Secretion.

  • Physio-anatomy of the pancreas.
  • Functions of Insulin.
  • Effects of Insulin on CHO metabolism.
  • Effects of Insulin on fat metabolism.
  • Effects of Insulin on Protein metabolism.
  • Control of Insulin secretion.
  • Blood glucose regulation.

§  Diabetes Mellitus.


  • Hormones of the Pituitary.
  • Hypothalamic and Pituitary connections.
  • Growth Hormone

Parathyroid Gland. (Parathormone)

Calcium Homeostasis.

Adrenal Gland:

§  Anatomy

§  Corticosteroids

§  Mineralocorticoids


  • Effects and mechanism of action

§  Regulation of aldosterone.


§  Cortisol

Functions and affects    

  • Effects on CHO Meta.
  • Effects on protein Met.
  • Fat meta.
  • Functions in stress

Regulation of Cortisol                                           Abnormalities

§   Hypo-adrenalism (Addison’s disease)

§   Hyper-adrenalism (Cushing’s disease)

§   Primary Aldosteronism

Adrenal Androgens

1st  Practical on Endocrines.

(OGTT)                                                                        Interpretation of all four graphs

10.                          Central nervous System and Special Senses:


Orientation of the cerebral cortex.

Receptors, afferent pathways and functions. Regulation of the pancreatic secretion.


§  Functional Anatomy of the CNS.

§  Orientation of the cerebral cortex.

Receptors, afferent pathways and functions.


Basal Ganglion.

  • Control of movements.
  • Postural reflexes.

Motor system.

§  Pyramidal and extra-pyramidal system.


Quiz 2 (II term)

q  Memory

q  Behaivior

q  Hypothalamus

1st  Practical on CNS. Examination of motor system

§  Speech.

§  Hearing

§  Smell and Taste

§  Vision






1st Continuous Assessment (1st CAT)                                      = 10 marks

Quizzes (2x2.5)                                                                                   = 05 marks

2nd Continuous Assessment (MID-Year) (Comprehensive)                = 15 marks

Practical Examination                                                                         = 05 marks


SUB-TOTAL                                                                                     = 35 marks




3rd Continuous Assessment (3rd CAT)                                                = 15 marks

Quizzes (2x2.5)                                                                                   = 05 marks

Practical Examination                                                                         = 05 marks


SUB-TOTAL                                                                                     = 25 marks


FINAL- Examination (Comprehensive)                                          = 40 marks


TOTAL MARKS FOR THE YEAR ---------------------------------- = 100 marks



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