INTEGRATED COURSE OF PHYSIOPATHOLOGY - Immunology and basic pathology

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (44 hours), Laboratory (8 hours)

In order to attend fruitfully the class, the student should be in possession of the basic notions in cytology and histology. For this class no required prerequisite is prescribed.

The final exam consists of an oral test, three of four exam questions aimed at verifying the preparation and presentation skills of the student. One of the questions will concern the experiments carried out in the lab lesson, the student will discuss the design and technical details of these experiments. The final grade is evaluated by the mean of grades obtained at individual exam questions.

Voto Finale

The basic concepts of immunology are mandatory for the training of the biologist aiming at studying Biomedicine. The Biomedical Curriculum of the degree course in Scienze Biologiche is characterized by classes in pharmacology, toxicology and physiopathology. The principal aim of the module “immunology with elements of pathology”, which is part of the integrated course “physiopathology”, is to provide the student with fundamental notions in Immunology starting from basic knowledge of cellular and molecular biology. Moreover the module also introduces basic notions about inflammation and repair. Part of the course is aimed at explaining the principal experimental approaches in use in immunology, indeed the learning of experimental methods is further supported by laboratory training included in the 6 CFU. At the end of the course, the student will be able to understand basic principles of acquired immunity and the role of the main lymphocyte subsets in immune responses. Moreover, students will be able to evaluate experimental data obtained in the laboratory training. This knowledge is pivotal to gain access to modern immunopathology.

-leucocytes and leucocyte count
-innate ed acquired responses, immunological memory
-apoptosis and necrosis

Immunoglobulins, structure and functions
-antibody structure, analisis by enzymatic digestions, Fab e Fc
-affinity and avidity
-B lymphocytes, plasmacells and the clonal selection theory
- effector functions of the five Ig classes

-antibodies in biotechnology
-haptens and carriers
-use of adjuvants for immunizations
- selection of hybridomas in HAT medium according to Kohler e Milstein
- antibodies as biotechnological tools, leucocyte molecular markers classified as cluster differetiation DC, immunophenotype

Major Histocompatibility Complex MHC, T cells, TcR and antigen presentation
- MHC gene organization and allelic polymorphism
-MHC-I e MHC-II, molecular structure and binding to antigenic peptides
-functions of MHC-I and MHC-II molecules, tissue expression
- clinical relevance of MHC polymorphism, transplants
-TcR in comparison to BcR/Ig
-T CD8 cytotoxic cells and T CD4 helper cells
-antigen concept, B and T epitopes
-antigen processing and presentation, role of proteasome, TAP and invariant chain

Cytokines and Th1/Th2 polarization
-cytokines general properties, classification, receptors and signal transduction
-role of macrophage in the regulation of innate/inflammatory responses and of T helper cells in the regulation of acquired responses
-analysis of cytokine secretion by ELISA or by intracellular fluorescence
-Th1/Th2 polarization, cross-inhibition
-functions of Th1 Th2 cells
- protective acquired responses: intracellular pathogens Th1/ helminth parassites Th2
-Th2 lymphocytes, allergies IgE mediated and hygiene hypothesis
-Th17 and regulatory T cells , an outline

-epidemiology and herd immunity
-classical approaches to vaccinations
-social aspects

Innate immunity receptors and Complement System
- trriggering of innate/inflammatory responses
- innate immunity receptors, pattern recognition PAMP e PRR.
-Complement System, main functions
- three pathways for the activation of Complement System
-Complement cascade is tightly regulated, diseases associated to misregulated Complement

Functional anatomy of acquired responses
- lymphatic and blood circulations
-functional anatomy of lymph nodes
-chemokine biology, an outline
-dendritic cell maturation and priming of naive T cells
-central and peripheral tolerance, an outline

-acute inflammation
-chemical mediators of inflammation, an outline
-chronic inflammation
-inflammation and pain
-systemic inflammation

Wound healing and repair
-stem cells, an outline
-wound healing, local and systemic factors, fibrosis

Laboratory module (0.5 cfu, 8h) one lab lesson:
a) complement-mediated lysis of a cell target opsonized by an antibody recognizing a cell surface antigen, analysis by microscopy b) complement-mediated lysis of E coli opsonized by human serum, analysis of bacterial growth by over-night growth on agar plates, evaluation of bacterial CFU c) effect of complement opsonization on the phagocytosis of FITC labeled bacteria, analysis by flow cytometry

Rogueiro Gonzales et al Immunologia, biologia e patologia del sistema immunitario Piccin 4 edizione 2012

Abbas, Lichtman, Pillai Le basi dell’Immunologia-fisiopatologia del sistema immunitario Edra 5 edizione 2017
Moreover the lesson slides are on the E-learning platform


22 lectures, 44 hours, 5.5 CFU. 1 lab lesson, 8 hours 0.5 CFU. Lesson will be carried out by means of Power Point presentation. The lecturer will verify periodically learning by anonymous multiple choice tests

The lecturer is available on appointment ( for meeting students to explain or further discuss the issues treated in the class.