Spring 2019 - BPK 307 D100

Human Physiology III (3)

Class Number: 4430

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 1:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    AQ 5016, Burnaby

    We, Fr 1:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    RCB 8100, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 17, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    SWH 10081, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    BPK 305. Corequisite: BPK 306; however, students who took BPK 306 prior to Fall 2017, cannot take this course. Majors from outside BPK require BPK 205 (or BISC 305), MBB 231 (or 201), MATH 155 or 152 plus permission of the instructor.



A detailed examination of the physiology and pathophysiology of the gastrointestinal, renal, endocrine, immune and reproductive systems. The course focuses on integration of physiological mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and systems levels.


13 weeks, 3h lecture & 1h tutorial


Learning Outcomes
This course encompasses a detailed examination of the physiology and pathophysiology of the gastrointestinal, renal, endocrine, immune and reproductive systems. The course focuses on integration of physiological mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and systems levels. Learning objectives are largely categorized by the organ system to which they most directly apply. The level of content delivery is indicated: Introduces, Emphasizes, Reinforces, Applies.  

By the end of the course, students should be able to:
[Fluid & electrolyte physiology] 
  • define body fluid volumes and compositions and determine the changes in extracellular and intracellular compartments that occur when different loads are ingested or lost. [I, A]
  • distinguish transport mechanisms by energy source. [R]
  • explain how high and stable glomerular filtration rate is achieved and regulated. [A]
  • explain how specialization of transport properties along the nephron permits complex tasks such as urine concentration and dilution, excretion of non-volatile acid, regulation of Na+ balance. [A]
  • describe normal K+ distribution and the role of insulin in maintaining the normal distribution. [I]
  • explain the actions of aldosterone at the cortical collecting duct. [E,R]
  • explain how tubuloglomerular feedback regulates glomerular filtration rate and use this to explore the intellectual process by which scientists investigate a regulatory mechanism. [A]
  • create and use a concept map to explain the major role(s) of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. [R,A]
  • using all material covered to date, explain how the kidney regulates blood pressure encompassing molecular, cellular, and organ level mechanisms. [R,A]  
[Gastrointestinal physiology] 
  • describe the phases (cephalic, oral, esophageal, gastric, small intestinal, and colonic) of the gastrointestinal response to a meal. [I]
  • explain the contributions of these phases to ingestion, digestion, absorption, and excretion. [R]
  • explain how gastrointestinal motility, and gastric and accessory secretions contribute to digestion, incorporating immediate, local, regional, and systemic control systems. [A]
  • use examples to explain the concept of retrograde regulation in the gastrointestinal system. [A]  
[Liver and metabolism] 
  • describe liver function in terms of digestion, metabolism, and excretion [E,R]
  • explain regulation of nutrient metabolism by major anabolic and catabolic hormones – insulin, glucagon, growth hormone, thyroid hormone. [R,A]  
[Calcium and phosphate metabolism]
  • describe mechanisms at multiple organ systems and interactive regulatory mechanisms by which calcium and phosphate levels in plasma are maintained. [E,R]  
[Endocrine regulation]* *mostly covered en passant
  • Input signals & negative feedback, Signal coding, Route of transmission, Target / Receptor selectivity, 2nd messenger pathways / networks [I,E]
  • Vasopressin and aldosterone as examples of GPCR-coupled peptide and nuclear receptor-coupled steroid hormones. [I,E]
  • Renin-angiotensin(-aldosterone) system as multi-hormonal system with multiple inputs, multiple targets, complex 2nd messenger networks & interactive effects on other control mechanism. [R,A]
  • Coordinate regulation and function of insulin (& glucagon); basic mechanism of beta cell response to plasma [glucose]; roles of intercellular networks in control of insulin & glucagon secretion. [E,A]
  • Coordinate regulation of hepatic function by insulin and glucose. [I,E]
  • Multi-hormonal (PTH, vitamin D, FGF23, gonadal steroids) regulation of [Ca2+] & inorganic phosphate balance. [R,A]
  • Introduce Thyroid hormone and nuclear receptor family [I]  
  • describe the physiological mechanisms governing the human reproductive system in the context of reproductive hormones, and their role in differentiation and maturation of the reproductive system. [E,R]
  • integrate and appraise information from various sources to explain the triggers for the onset of puberty in males and females. [I]
  • describe and contrast gametogenesis in males and females [E,R]
  • explain the physiological mechanisms that govern the ovarian and endometrial cycle in females. [E,R]
  • describe the mechanisms underlying arousal, erection, emission, ejaculation and orgasm in males and the male sexual response. [E,R]
  • describe arousal, lubrication, engorgement and orgasm in females and the female sexual response. [E,R] 
  •  explain the mechanisms underlying common sexual dysfunctions in males and females, and the physiological rationale for current treatment approaches. [A]
  • explain the physiological processes that govern fertilisation, sustain and maintain pregnancy, regulate labour and delivery, and promote lactation. [R,A]
  • explain the mechanisms underlying common fertility approaches, with emphasis on those that impact the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. [A]
  • integrate, extrapolate, apply and communicate understanding of reproductive function across molecular, cellular and systems levels, to explain reproductive pertubations across the lifecycle and in pathological conditions. [A]
  • reflect upon and develop effective learning skills to facilitate ongoing autonomous function as a self-directed learning throughout life.  [A]
  • evaluate and appraise the scientific evidence behind common reproductive myths. [A]
  • demonstrate personal accountability, respect, responsibility and ethical decision making when considering and discussing complex and emotive issues in reproductive physiology. [A]
  • develop a curiosity, interest and passion for reproductive physiology as one aspect of various reproductive life events and choices. [A]  
[Immune system]
  • describe the components of the immune system and distinguish innate and adaptive immunity. [E,R]
  • describe the processes by which the immune system is able to resist or eliminate potentially deleterious foreign pathogens or abnormal cells. [E,R]
  • explain the role of the immune response in autoimmune diseases, cancers and allergies. [A]
  • examine the interrelationships between the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems and the immune system. [A]
  • describe the concepts of neuroimmunology and neuropsychoimmunology, with emphasis on the role of microglia. [I,A] 


  • Midterm 1 20%
  • Midterm 2 20%
  • Assignments 10%
  • Tutorials – participation in class 10%
  • Final, scheduled exam 40%


Prerequisite – BPK 305 and all prerequisites of that course
Co-requisite – BPK306



There is no required text for this course. However, it is strongly recommended that you support your learning by reading around the subject. Any of these physiology texts would be a good resource for this course.

  • Koeppen & Stanton – QP 34.5 P496 2010
  • Guyton & Hall – QP 34.5 G9 2011
  • Boron & Boulpaep – QP 34.5 B65 2012
  • Silverthorn – QP 34.5 S55 2013

Department Undergraduate Notes:

It is the responsibility of the student to keep their BPK course outlines if they plan on furthering their education.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html