ZOOL40300 Epithelial Transport in Animal Physiology

Academic Year 2021/2022

An epithelium is a layer of cells that lines a cavity, organ or body surface. It forms a boundary between functionally different regions of the body, or between the animal and the external environment. The process of epithelial transport therefore plays a vital role in a wide range of physiological activities, such as osmoregulation and nutrition. The specific movement of substances across epithelial cells is regulated by numerous proteins situated in the plasma membrane. This module investigates the latest research into the identity, function and regulation of the different membrane proteins involved in the specific transport of urea, short chain fatty acids, amino acids and peptides. Basic concepts in epithelial transport will be highlighted using comparative examples from fish, ruminant, rodent and human physiology. Various case studies will also be discussed to illustrate how epithelial transport research can lead to new treatments for disease.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module students should be able to: (1) explain the importance of epithelial transport in physiological processes, (2) discuss how membrane proteins regulate epithelial transport, and (3) explain how basic research in this field helps treat disease.

Indicative Module Content:

The physiological roles of epithelial transporters will be covered in the following topics:
- urea transporters in marine osmoregulation.
- amino acid & peptide transporters in digestion.
- urea transporters in ruminant & monogastric digestion.
- short chain fatty acid transporters in ruminant & monogastric digestion.
- urea transporters in renal urinary concentrating mechanism.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will include both standard lectures and weekly workshops, in which the lecture content will be thoroughly discussed. The aim of this structure will be to facilitate development of students' critical analysis abilities. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Coursework essay given on a specific topic concerning epithelial transport. Unspecified n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: End of trimester exam - in which a choice of two out of fours essays is given. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided individually post-assessment for both the coursework essay and the end of trimester exam.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4 Fri 09:00 - 09:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4 Mon 10:00 - 10:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4 Wed 10:00 - 10:50