Physiology of lactation and muscle and transformation of products into milk and meat

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Veterinary Physiology
First semester
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Lectures are in Italian. Textbooks in English are available.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

At the end of the course, the student knows the basics to understand how from an initial situation and a perturbation of this state, one may be able to predict and describe the response mechanisms and to know whether these responses are sufficient or not to maintain the homeostasis of the organism in the systems and apparatuses covered by the course. Specifically, learning skills will have to be developed useful for understanding the main basic mechanisms of animal nutrition, muscle growth and milk production useful for understanding the specific problems faced in specialized courses and the modifications on the products of these supply chains.


Basic Knowledge of biochemistry and cellular biology at the basis of the animal processes of mammals

Course contents summary

the focus of the course is to form a synthesis on the relationships between the various systems involved in the development of animal productions with the acquisition of basic notions relating to the digestive, locomotor and mammary gland systems in livestock (ruminants, pig, poultry) necessary for understanding how alterations in physiological regulations can affect in the transformation processes of products (milk and meat).

Course contents

Digestive system in monogastrics and polygastrics, differences in income species. Functional aspects of rumen physiology. Functional aspects in gastric, biliary and pancreatic juice. Intestinal digestion. Absorption: of lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, electrolytes and water. Principles of muscle physiology in the various types of muscle (striated, smooth and cardiac) and methods of tissue growth. Rigor mortis. Physiology of lactation, role and function of milk and colostrum in the newborn, physiological development of the mammary gland and mechanisms for regulating milk secretion

Recommended readings

Slides used for the lectures are available in the platform Elly.
Additional material provided by the lecturer is made available on Elly.
Suggested text-books
Sjaastad O., Hove K., Sand O.: Physiology of Domestic Animals. Scandinavian Veterinary Press.
- Cunningham J. Klein B.: Veterinary Physiology 4th dition, Saunders Elsevier

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. Distance learning (full or blended) will be considered based on health risks

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam consists of an oral test. The final grade is defined for 50% by an exposition of a scientific article presented during the examination and the remaining 50% is defined by an oral assessment of a topic covered by the theoretical course