The course is aimed at providing the fundamentals of human cell and tissue organization, as well as of the prenatal development of the body. The main thread of the curriculum is the relationship between morphology and function. To such aim, one of the primary goals is the development of the necessary visuospatial skills, namely the ability to recognize the structures of interest, their order of magnitude, 3D shape, and mutual spatial relationships, on the basis of histological preparations and images. Another primary goal is the development of the linguistic and expressive skills indispensable to properly communicate the acquired knowledge. The practice sessions, based on the study of virtual histological slides, play a central role in achieving the goals.
- METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF CELLS AND TISSUES - Methods and tools for the study of the structure and fine structure of cells and tissues: fixation, embedding, cutting of histological sections, stains; principles of light microscopy in bright field, in fluorescence (including confocal microscopy), transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, multiphoton microscopy; histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques; in vitro cell cultures. - CYTOLOGY - General concepts of cell, tissue, organ, apparatus; living substance; cell differentiation - The stem cells - Plasma membrane: structure (lipid bilayer, proteins, channel proteins) and functions; cell surface receptors; cell signaling and signal transduction. - Plasma membrane permeability: mechanisms of passive and active transport across the membrane; carrier proteins. - Plasma membrane specializations and their functional role: glycocalyx; specializations of the free surface (microvilli, cilia, flagellum); intercellular junctions (tight junctions, zonula adherens, desmosomes, gap junctions). - Exocytosis, endocytosis. - Cytoplasm and cell organelles: cytosol; cytoskeleton (microtubules, microfilaments, intermediate filaments); rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum; ribosomes (and principles of protein synthesis); Golgi apparatus (and principles of protein sorting); lysosomes and phagocytosis; peroxisomes; mitochondria; mitotic apparatus; cell inclusions. - Nucleus: nuclear envelope and nuclear pores; chromatin; nucleolus. - Notes on mitosis and meiosis (dealt with in detail in the Biology course). - Cell death: necrosis, apoptosis, autophagy. - TISSUES - Main families of tissues and their features of organization. - Epithelial tissues: main types and functions. - Epithelium (coating epithelia): cytological features, classification, regeneration. Epidermis and keratynocytes. - Sensory epithelia - Glands: exocrine and endocrine secretion; classification of exocrine glands; types of endocrine glands. - Tissues derived from mesenchymal cells (connective tissues): classification; cell differentiation lines. - Connective tissue: extracellular matrix composition; fibers: collagen fibers, reticular and elastic fibers, collagen synthesis; fibroblasts and other cell components (T and B lymphocytes, plasma cells, macrophages); notes on the immune system. - Adipose tissue: white and brown types, structure and function; adipocytes. - Cartilage: structure and features; hyaline and elastic cartilage, fibrocartilage. Extracellular matrix and chondrocytes. Chondrogenesis - Bone: structure and features. Compact bone and spongy bone. Osteon, lamellar arrangement. Extracellular matrix; blood supply and innervation. Cells: osteoblasts, osteocytes, osteoclasts. Intramembranous and endochondral osteogenesis. Repair mechanisms. - Blood: plasma, red and white cells, platelets. - Lymph: composition and circulation. - Hematopoietic tissue: compartments; formation of erythrocytes, leukocytes, platelets. - Dental tissues. Enamel organ and tooth histogenesis. - Muscle: general features, functions, innervation of the different types of muscle. Skeletal muscle: muscle fiber, sarcomere. Cardiac muscle. Types f sarcoplasmic reticulum. Smooth muscle. - Nervous tissue: general features and functions. The neuron: cell body and dendritic arborizations; axon; myelin sheath. Synapsis (including the neuromuscular junction). Axonal transport. Glail cells (astrocytes, microglia, oligodendrocytes, Schwann cells): types and fetaures; myelin formation; structure and function of the blood-brain barrier; notes on neuroplasticity; regenerative capacity and potential in the central and peripheral nervous tissue. HUMAN EMBRYOLOGY - Gametogenesis - Ovarian cycle and menstrual cycle - Fertilization - Zygote segmentation - Blastocyst and its implantation - Bilaminar germinal disc - Gastrulation; neurulation; formation of the somites. - Pharyngeal arches - Embryo and fetus developmental stages - Placenta; fetal membranes - Development of the face (including the formation of the palate and the tongue) and of the skull - Development of the limbs - Development of the respiratory apparatus - Development of the gastrointestinal tract - Development of the urogenital apparatus - Development of the cardiovascular system - Development of the nervous system