Molecular physiology

Subject description

Subject covers the molecular physiology of subcellular organelle interactions, interactions between cells and interactions at the systems level, all in health and disease. The course brings forward the biological and biophysical foundations for cell organisation. At the same time methods employed in molecular physiology are presented, such as optophysiology and electrophysiology. Among optophysiological techniques confocal microscopy for recording in five dimensions is presented: three space dimensions, time and spectral recording of light emission from living cells. Furthermore, methods for recording cytosolic calcium activity, pH, both physiological parameters are crucial in cell signalling and volume regulation. With advanced optical methods cytosolic glucose concentration, an important indicator of cell metabolism can be monitored. Key electrophysiological techniques which have contributed greatly to the field of molecular physiology are classical measurements of transmembrane potential, »patch-clamp« methods of membrane capacitance, which permit the monitoring of exocytosis and endocytosis, amperometric detection of chemical messengers and hormones. These techniques are used to determine molecular physiology of selected proteins, such as ion channels, transporters, proteins required for vesicular traffic and exocytosis, under normal and pathological conditions. Students are acquainted with methods of isolation and culturing of primary and clonal eukaryotic cells and methods for labelling subcellular organelles in vivo.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

The educational aim of the course is to understand cell function under normal and pathological conditions. In this the following levels of organisation will be considered: subcellular organelles (morphologically defined structures as well as other functional modules) and the level of cell-to-cell as well as systems communication. Students gain competences in strategies for the biotech engineering and manipulation of cells.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, workshops with seminars, lab presentations in cooperation with invited lecturers.

Expected study results

Knowledge and understanding:

The course is aiming to upgrade the competences and knowledge from the fields of molecular physiology, cell physiology and new advanced methods for cell engineering and manipulation.

Basic sources and literature

N. Sperelakis (2001). Cell Physiology Source Book: A Molecular Approach. Academic Press; 3rd edition, 1235 strani. ISBN: 0126569770


J. Phillips, P. Murray, P. Kirk (2001). Biology of Disease, 2nd edition, 336 strani. ISBN: 0632054042


Tekoča periodika in zlasti pregledni članki s področij: molekulske fiziologije in raziskovalne tehnologije

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