03033 - Toxicology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies (cod. 8412)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows:

the general principles of of Toxicoloy; - the principles governing entry, fate and effects of toxicants on living systems; - the major genetic and environmental determinants of risk; - the effects of xenobiotics on the metabolism and  the physiology of different cell types, tissues and organs systems; - the  general principles of risk assessment and the definition of limits of safety of chemical agents;- the drug discovery and the preclinical drug development process for new chemical entities or biologics; -the toxic effects of chemicals in food and in the environment

Course contents

General Toxicology - General principles of Toxicology, classification of toxic agents, spectrum of undesired effects, dose response . Absorption, distribution, and excretion of toxicants, biotrasformation of toxic substances; factors that affect the rates of metabolism of foreign compounds; variation in toxic response. Toxicogenetic and toxicogenomic.

Molecular and cellular aspects of toxicity -  Mechanisms of toxicity, reaction with the target molecules, cellular dyfunction, repair or dysrepair.  Cell Death.

Nonorgan-directed toxicity -  Genetic toxicology. Chemical carcinogenesis. Developmental Toxicology. Teratogenesis.

Target organ  toxicity - Toxic responses of the liver. Toxic responses of the kidney. Toxic responses of the respiratory system. Toxic responses of the nervous system. Toxic responses of the reproductive system. Toxic responses of the immune system. Toxic responses of the skin. Toxic responses oh the heart and vascular system.

Toxic agents - The toxicology of pesticides, metals, solvents and vapors, radiations, persistant organic pollutants, natural toxins, food toxicology.

Special Toxicology - The process of drug discovery  and pre-clinical and clinical drug development. Regulatory aspects. Preclinical toxicology of biologics. Safety of medicines on the market and adverse drug reactions.  Risk chracterization and assessment. Chemoprevention of chronic degenerative diseases. Molecular epidemiology. Safety of food supplements. Safety of cosmetic products. 



Lecture files and the notes taken in class are essential for the preparation of the exam.

Students can refer to:

Casrett & Doull -Elementi di Tossicologia ( a cura di Hrelia P e Cantelli Forti G), Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano, 2013.

Balduini W , Costa LG -Tossicologia generale e applicata ai farmaci, Edra Ed, 2015.

Casarett & Doull's - Tossicologia - I fondamenti dell'azione delle sostanze tossiche (traduzione italiana della VII edizione), EMSI, Roma, 2010.


Teaching methods

Lectures and seminars.

Attendance at the course is mandatory for 60% of class hours.

Assessment methods


The exam will consist in an oral test aimed at assessing the student's understanding and knowledge of the topics set out during the course. The examination consists of an interview. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the course and the use of an appropriate specific terminology will be assessed with a mark of excellence.

Teaching tools

PC, websites.

The lecture files are available at https://iol.unibo.it [https://iol.unibo.it/]

Office hours

See the website of Patrizia Hrelia


Good health and well-being Clean water and sanitation Climate Action Oceans

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.