Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (32 hours)

In order to attend fruitfully the Class, the student should be in possession of the basic notions in Immunology.

The final exam consists of an oral test, three of four exam questions aimed at verifying the preparation and presentation skills of students. The final grade is evaluated by the mean of grades obtained at individual exam questions

Voto Finale

Currently a knowledge of Immunopathology is mandatory for the training of the biologist aiming at studying Biomedicine, the Neuroimmunology Course has been tailored for student who opt for the Neuroscience Curriculum. Neuroimmunology deals with the complex relationship between host immune response and the nervous system. This topic may be divided in two sections: neuroimmunology in health -that is the study of neuro-immune regulatory circuits; neuroimmunology in disease -in other words neuroinflammation. The principal goals of the Course are a) to provide the student with a comprehensive knowledge of immunopathology and the underlying immune regulatory circuits. Moreover in the Immunopathology section it is included even a discussion of the complex relationship between immune system and microbiota b) to provide the student with an updated view of the cross-talk between immune and nervous systems and its alteration leading to neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative disorders. After the course the student should be endowed with a comprehensive knowledge of immunopathology and neuro-immune cross-talk in health and in disease.

Immune regulatory circuits
-innate receptors, pathogen associated molecular patterns PAMP and PRR
-properties and functions of effector T cells
-conventional T helper cells, Th1, Th2 and Th17
-peripheral tolerance
-second and third signal in antigen presentation
-regulatory T cells and IL-2
-damage associated molecular patterns DAMPs and sterile inflammation
-M1 and M2, gatekeeper of tissue homeostasis
Hypersensitivity and allergy
-IgE mediated, type I
-type II, III, IV, an outline

-autoimmunity represents a breakdown or failure of the mechanisms of self- tolerance
-epidemiology of autoimmune disorders
-classification of autoimmune diseases
-pathogenic mechanisms of autoimmune disorders
-genetic and environmental basis of autoimmunity
-example of autoimmune diseases
-therapy of autoimmune diseases

mucosal immunity and gut microbiota
-gut microbiota, general concepts
-functional anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract, a focus on immunity
-the gut microbiota and food antigens are somehow tolerated by the host immune system
-individual members of the microbiota produce relevant immunomodulatory effects on host immune system
-gut dysbiosis promoting illness inside and outside the gastrointestinal tract


Microbiota and brain
-the complex bidirectional interaction between microbiota and nervous system
-microbiota and autism

Brain immune privilege
-early evidences
-Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) and Neurovascular Unit (NVU)
-modulations of BBB in physiology and in disease
-recent discoveries about meningeal lymphatic system and glymphatic system

Inflammatory reflex
-Autonomic Nervous System and the basic principles of reflexes
-bidirectional interaction between CNS and immune system, an introductory look
-lymphoid organs are innervated
-the prototypical inflammatory reflex, an account of the principal experimental discoveries
-the inflammatory reflex and diseases
-central control of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway
-translational implications - pharmacologic approaches, bioelectronic medicine

Myeloid cell types in the CNS
-embryonic and postnatal origin of microglia and other meyloid cells in the CNS
-cell-renewal/proliferation capability of tissue-resident macrophages in the CNS
-role of microglia in the homeostatic mantainance of the nervous tissue
-microglia M1/M2 polarization states in CNS disorders

Alzheimer disease and inflammation
-pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease, the amyloid cascade hypothesis
-the role of neuroinflammation in Alzheimer disease
-microglia, beneficial and detrimental roles in Alzheimer disease
-immunotherapy targeting amyloid-β

-inflammation, sickness behaviour and depression
-role of tryptophan in the immune response and depressive disorders

Immunopathology section:
Abbas, Lichtman, Pillai Cellular and Molecular Immunology Elsevier
Kuby Immunology W. H. Freeman and Company
Kenneth Murphy, Casey Weaver Janeway’s immunobiology Garland Sciences

Neuroimmunology section:
Reviews or original papers on the subject and lecture’s files provided by the teacher on the e-learning platform


The course consists of lectures (32 hours, 4 CFU). In support to the section “ Neuroimmunology” the lecturer will discuss briefly some seminal papers (journal club)