37185 - Histology and Embryology 1 (A-K)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Medicine and Surgery (cod. 8415)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has skills in the morpho-functional organization of the various cell types, subcellular structures and extra cellular components that constitute human tissues. The student also has skills on their stem precursors, cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as on the mechanisms of tissue histogenesis, renewal and regeneration. The student also knows about human embryology, the relative regulation mechanisms and the main alterations.

Course contents

PROGRAM of the courses of Histology and Embryology 1 and 2

The characteristics of cells: Prokaryotic cells and Eukaryotic cells. Shape and size of the various cytotypes. Relationship between morphology and function.

The Plasma Membrane and the Cytoplasm.

The cytoskeleton and the cell junctions.

Basics of gametogenesis. Mature gametes. Fertilization and formation of the zygote.

First week of development. Cleavage. From the morula to the blastocyst stage.

Second week of development. Preparation for the implant (endometrium and corpus luteum). Implantation: adhesion, invasion, decidual reaction, immune tolerance. Syncytiotrophoblast and cytotrophoblast. Epiblast and hypoblast. Formation of the amniotic cavity and the yolk sac. Formation of the extraembryonic mesoderm and the chorionic cavity.

Third week of development. Initial stages of gastrulation and formation of the three germ layers and their derivatives.

Histogenesis. Stem cells and differentiation.

General organization of the different tissues: classification and general characteristics.

1) Epithelial tissues: characteristics and classification. Covering and lining epithelia: classification and morpho-functional aspects. Glandular epithelia and secretory system.

The internal membrane system (REL, RER, Golgi apparatus, vesicles). Endocytosis, exocytosis, and secretion.

Exocrine glandular tissue: classification and morpho-functional aspects.

Endocrine glandular tissue: classification and morpho-functional aspects.

2) Tissues of mesenchymal origin. General characteristics of the extracellular matrix: structure, composition, and rearrangement of the matrix.

Embryonic connective tissue or mesenchyme.

Connective cells (fixed cells and wandering cells).

Lysosomes and Peroxisomes.

Adult Connective tissue proper.

Adipose tissue. Mitochondria.

Trophic and lymphoid connective tissues. Blood cells and plasma. Hematopoietic tissue: notes on the mechanisms of hematopoiesis. Lymphoid tissue. Cells and organs of the lymphatic system. Notes on immunity.

Supporting connective tissues. Cartilage: cells, extracellular matrix, classification and chondrogenesis. Bone: organization and classification, cells and extracellular matrix, mineralization of the matrix. Osteogenesis and remodeling.

3) Muscle tissues: classification. Morpho-functional aspects of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle tissue.

4) Nervous tissue: neurons and glial cells. Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Axonal transport, synapse structure and myelin sheath. Morpho-functional aspects of glial cells.

Gastrulation (third week of development): formation of embryonic layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm), notochord and notochord process, development of the mesoderm, neural plate, neural tube, and neural crest cells.

Events of the fourth week of development: neural tube closure, embryo folding and beginning of organogenesis.

Derivatives of the three embryonic layers and notes of organogenesis.

Embryo-fetal annexes: yolk sac, allantoid, amnion, placenta, and umbilical cord.

PLEASE NOTE: All the material presented in class will be uploaded to the teaching platform (VIRTUALE).

The details on cellular organelles are considered a basic knowledge, so in class only the aspects useful for a good understanding of the functional aspects of the tissues will be covered.

Histology and Embryology are not two independent subjects but are well integrated. For this reason, the topics will not be exposed following the index of the books, but in a coordinated way.


Adamo ed altri autori "Istologia di Monesi" editore Piccin VII edizione

Mattioli Belmonte ed altri autori "Istologia Umana" editore Idelson-Gnocchi

Altri testi consultabili:

N. Maraldi e C. Tacchetti Istologia Medica Edi-Ermes

M. Ross & W. Pawlina Istologia CEA

P.Rosati, R.Colombo, N.Maraldi Istologia Edi-Ermes

Teaching methods

The course consists of 5 UC of lectures which aim to make students acquire the topics described in detail in the program.


As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas] on Health and Safety online

Assessment methods

The learning assessment will include the examination of slides that is introductory to the oral exam. The students that have not passed are not admitted to the oral exam. The oral exam is about Cytology, Histology and Embryology in according the contents published in Histology and Embryology 1 and Histology and Embryology 2 courses. A low mark in one of the three parts precludes the whole exam. The student can choose to keep the mark of examination of slides (valid until December 2022) or to repeat it. In the opinion of the examiners, the final assessment will be the weighed average of the three results.
The online registration to the examination is mandatory.

Graduation of the grade:

Preparation on a very limited number of topics covered in the course and analytical skills that emerge only with the help of the teacher, expressed in an overall correct language → 18-19;

Preparation on a limited number of topics covered in the course and ability to autonomous analysis only on purely executive matters, expression in correct language → 20-24;

Preparation on a large number of topics covered in the course, ability to make independent choices of critical analysis, mastery of specific terminology → 25-29;

Basically exhaustive preparation on the topics covered in the course, ability to make autonomous choices of critical analysis and connection, full mastery of specific terminology and ability to argue and self-reflection → 30-30L.

Teaching tools

Power point presentations that will be available online as downloadable content through the Platform (Virtual Learning Environment).

Office hours

See the website of Laura Bonsi


Good health and well-being Quality education

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