BSc Biomedical Sciences

Year of entry: 2019

Course unit details:
Gut and Renal Human Physiology

Unit code BIOL21272
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

Human Physiology outlines the principal functions of the mammalian (human) gastro-intestinal (GI) tract and the renal system, explains how these systems are affected by diseases and outlines the available treatments.

You will learn about:
  • The mechanism and regulation of nutrient absorption by the GI tract
  • The importance of the kidneys in maintaining body electrolyte and water balance
  • Examples of diseases of the GI tract and kidney, which are targets for important therapeutic drugs
  • How molecular genetics has enhanced our understanding of transport processes in the intestines and kidneys

Pre/co-requisites

Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Cell Membrane Structure & Function BIOL21141 Co-Requisite Recommended
Membrane Excitability: Ion Channels & Transporters in Action BIOL21321 Co-Requisite Recommended

Aims

  • To study the principal functions of the mammalian (human) gastro-intestinal (GI) tract and the renal system
  • To learn how these systems are affected by diseases and about the available treatments.

Learning outcomes

Students will gain an understanding of:

  • The mechanism and regulation of nutrient absorption by the GI tract
  • The importance of the kidneys in maintaining body electrolyte and water balance
  • How molecular genetics has enhanced our understanding of transport processes in the intestines and kidneys
  • Examples of diseases of the GI tract and kidney, which are targets for important therapeutic drugs

Syllabus

Part 1:

•       Introduction: Principals of epithelial transport & chemistry of dietary components.

•       The physiology of the G.I. tract: Digestion and absorption; Control of G.I function;The mechanism and regulation of salivary, gastric and pancreatic secretion; G.I.motility. Management of peptic ulcers and diarrhoea.

•       Renal physiology: Glomerular filtration; Reabsorption of nutrients and ions; Production of a concentrated urine; Control of extracellular fluid volume & electrolyte balance; Acid-base balance. Mechanisms of action of diuretic drugs. Renal failure.

Part 2:

•       The molecular physiology of iron transport proteins: Ferric reductase, DMT-1, ferroportin, transferrin, the transferrin receptor and hepcidin.

•       Cystic Fibrosis: The molecular genetics of C.F.; CFTR an anion channel and channel regulator.

•       Diuretic action and Bartter’s Syndrome: Diuretic selectivity is dependent on drug secretion. Na+ absorption in the kidney tubule (TAL) is imapaired in Bartter’s by mutations to five different proteins.

•       GI tract infections: Causes of and treatments for diarrhoea and peptic ulcers.

e-Learning Activities

CAL on: 1) The pharmacokinetics of diuretic drugs; 2) The molecular physiology of Bartters Syndrome; 3) Novel treatments for cystic fibrosis.

 

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analysis and interpretation of data in scientific papers which are source material for the second phase of the unit.
Oral communication
Questions are encouraged during the lectures. Drs Smith and Sheader also actively question the students.
Research
Directed reading of annotated scientific papers which are source material for the second phase of the unit.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written exam 90%

1.5 hour summative examination (90%) comprising one essay question plus short-note and multiple-choice questions. eLearning modules (10%)

Feedback methods

  • Feedback will be provided as part of two online multiple-choice assessments on lecture content and of the two assessments associated with the eLearning activities
  • A “Question and Answer session” will be held to discuss any student-raised concerns and/or past examination questions
  • A formal feedback session will be held in the subsequent semester in which students will have access to their marked examination scripts and to generic comments from the essay markers.

Recommended reading

For Part 1 of the unit, useful background information will be found in the texts below. For Part 2 of the unit, essential information will be found in lecture specific references, which will be listed in the unit handbook.

Recommended Reading

  1. Boron, WF & Boulpaep, EL, Medical Physiology: A Cellular and Molecular Approach (2nd edition), Saunders, 2008, Recommended
  2. Koeppen BM & Stanton BA, Berne & Levy Physiology (6th edition), Mosby, 2009, Recommended
  3. Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM & Flower, R, Rang & Dale's Pharmacology (6th Edition), Churchill Livingstone, 2007, Recommended

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.3
Lectures 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 76.7

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Peter Brown Unit coordinator

Return to course details