Possible essay questions for the human physiology final exam.

Only a select number of these questions will be asked, however, I will ask questions related to all of these concepts within the multiple choice, true and false, and/or matching question therefore, preparation of all these questions will help you do well on the final exam. These questions are essentially a study guide.

Note: it is possible that multiple choice, true and false, and/or matching questions may include some questions or concepts that are NOT listed on this study guide, nonetheless, these questions will be used exclusively for the essay questions.

I will not be able to provide the answers to these questions nor would it be fair to read any of your answers that you may compose prior to the final exam; however, I have made a sincere effort to ask questions (within this study guide) which reflect the material in your notes, the powerpoint presentations and the book, so I feel very confident that you have all the information necessary to answer these question (by using your notes, powerpoint, and/or text.) Best of luck in your preparation for the final exam.

Lastly, I have updated my powerpoint lectures on my homepage for the lectures listed below (with bullets) so that they reflect only the material covered on the final (i.e. I deleted the slides we did not cover and will not be on the final). There is no reason for you to re-print these powerpoint lectures, but you may like to confirm what is the “last slide” for each of the topics.


• Cardiovascular Physiology
• Renal Physiology
• HIV lecture
• Respiratory Physiology

Anti-HIV lab (we used in its entirety)

Cardiovascular Physiology:

1) Draw and label the structures of the heart and include the four major blood vessels that we discussed in class.

Beneath the drawing provide a stepwise list of movement of blood through the heart to the lungs and systemic circulation beginning with entry of blood into the right atrium. Include the names of the blood vessels through which the blood travels and whether the O2 or CO2 is of higher blood concentration.

2) Draw a pacemaker action potential and then label the ions that move at each step, then indicate whether ion movement is into or out of the cell.

 Now draw the pacemaker action potential under the affect of acetylcholine.
What ion movements have changed to alter this action potential?

3) Why do the pacemaker cells have a spontaneous depolarization?

4) Draw a cardiac contractile cell action potential and then label the ions that move at each step, indicate whether the ion movement is into or out of the cell.

5) Draw a standard ECG (as we recorded in lab) label each peak and identify what cardiac function corresponds to each of these peaks.

6) When is the treatment of angioplasty used and what does the treatment involve?

Renal Physiology

1) What are the major functions of the kidneys?

2) Draw the nephron and label its parts.

3) Discuss how the movement of Na+, glucose and water occur in the proximal convoluted tubule.

4) Explain the mechanisms of caffeine and alcohol that result in increased urine output.

5) Explain why we normally have voluntary control of urination.

6) What is the difference between renal “reabsorption and secretion”? Provide an example of a compound that undergoes reabsorption and secretion (they can be different compounds) and where in the renal tubule reabsorption and secretion are most likely to occur.

7) What is GFR and how is it measured?

8) Name two diseases that we discussed that affect renal function?

Immune System

1. What are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd lines of defense and provide two examples of each?

2. Discuss the similarities and differences between cell mediated and antibody mediated immunity. Include in your answer: the specific cells involved in each of these processes, the specific cell receptors involved in each of these processes and how each of these systems provide protection against non-self.

3. What are the differences between MHC I and MHC II? Where do we find these receptors and what are there function?


1. What is the current hypothesis for the origins of HIV-1 and what specific evidence supports this hypothesis?

2. How does HIV replicate within the host cell?

3. Why has it not been possible to produce an effective vaccine against HIV?

4. Provide four possible means for HIV transmission.


1) What cells produce surfactant and what is the function of surfactant within the respiratory tract?

2) What is the mechanism that allows for air to move