Course Topics


Instructional Units

Introduction to the Human Body
Define Anatomy and Physiology
Describe each of the levels of structural organization that make up the human body
List and define the necessary life functions in humans
Define homeostasis and disease
Describe how negative and positive feedback mechanisms help to maintain homeostasis.
Give physiological examples.
Cellular Physiology
Cell structures and functions
Maintaining homeostasis
Cell to cell communication

Integumentary System
Explain how the skin is considered an organ and describe its functions
Describe the histological characteristics of the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis
List and describe the different cell types of the epidermis

Skeletal System
Discuss the functions of bone
Describe the chemical composition of bone
Differentiate between osteoprogenitor cells, osteoblasts, osteocytes, and osteoclasts
Describe the structure of a long bone
Compare the histological characteristics of spongy bone and compact bone

Nervous System
Neuron anatomy
Neural classification
Neurophysiology – sodium/potassium pumps
Peripheral and Central nervous systems
Autonomic nervous system

Muscular System
List the major functions of the muscular system
Describe the gross and microscopic structure of skeletal muscle
Explain the structure of a sarcomere
Examine the events involving neuromuscular transmission of the action potential
Describe the specific actions of acetylcholine and acetylcholinesterase
Define motor neuron, motor unit, and recruitment
Define muscle tone and discuss the cause and function


Endocrine System
State the major functions of the endocrine system
List and locate the major endocrine organs in the human body
Define hormone, target organs, and hormone receptors
Describe the structural and functional relationship between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland
List the hormones of the anterior lobe of the pituitary and their functions
List the hormones stored in the posterior lobe of the pituitary and their functions
List the hormones produced by the adrenal glands (cortex and medulla) and their functions

Cardiovascular System
List the functions of blood, blood cell types
Review the anatomy of the human heart
Review the route of blood flow through the systemic and pulmonary circuits
Define heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output; discuss their relationship
List and describe the factors affecting heart rate
Describe the three layers (tunics) that typically form the wall of a blood vessel
Compare and contrast the structure and function of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and

Respiratory System
Review the structure and function of the organs of the respiratory system
Describe Boyle’s Law and explain how it relates to lung function
Describe the events that lead to inspiration and expiration (pressure and volume changes)
Describe the structure and function of the respiratory membrane
Describe partial pressure in a gas mixture
Describe how oxygen is transported in the blood and explain the influence of PO2 on hemoglobin

Digestive System
List the functions of the digestive system
Describe the general histology of the gastrointestinal tract
Describe digestion in the mouth (mechanical and chemical)
Describe the structure and function of the esophagus
Describe the structure and functions of the stomach
List the cell types in the stomach
Identify the regions and function of the small intestine
List the functions of the liver and gall bladder
State the roles of pancreatic juice and bile in digestion
Describe the structure and functions of the large intestine

Renal Physiology
Describe the structure of the kidney and of the nephron
Describe path of blood supply to the nephrons
Describe the process of urine formation through glomerular filtration, tubular reabsorption and
tubular secretion
List the hormones involved in sodium, potassium and water balance and explain their functions
Discuss the roles of the kidneys in acid-base balance and fluid and electrolyte balance

Reproductive System
Discuss the determination of genetic sex and prenatal development of male and female structures
Define puberty and secondary sexual characteristics
Describe the functions of LH, FSH, testosterone and inhibin in the male
Describe the process of oogenesis and compare it to spermatogenesis
Describe the functions of LH, FSH, estrogen, progesterone and inhibin in the female
Outline the major events of each phase of the uterine (menstrual) cycle and correlate them with
the events of the ovarian cycle
Describe the effects of aging on the reproductive systems