39591 - Seminar of Histology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Luca Scapoli
  • Credits: 2
  • SSD: BIO/17
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Dietistic (cod. 8470)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has essential knowledge of the fundamental aspects of the cell and the tissues of the human body with elements of embryonic development.

Course contents


General features of the eukaryotic cell. Cell architecture. Cytosol cytoplasm.

Nucleus: morphology, organization and localization. Nuclear envelope. Nucleolus, synthesis of ribosomes.

Endoplasmic reticulum: morphology, structure, basic functions.

Golgi apparatus: morphology. Role in protein synthesis.

Vesicular traffic. Exocytosis. Endocytosis.

Lysosomes: origin and functions. Phagocytosis. Pinocytosis.

Cytoskeleton: microtubules, microfilaments, intermediate filaments. Interactions between cytoskeleton and plasma membrane. Interactions between the cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix. Cellular movement. Apical specializations of the cell: microvilli, stereocilia, cilia, flagella. Sub-microscopic organization and functions.

Overview of methods of investigation, optical and electronic microscopy.

EPITELIAL TISSUES General characteristics of epithelium cells, junctional systems. Embryonic derivation and distribution. Classification of epithelia.

The exocrine glandular tissue. Classification of the exocrine glands based on the site, the shape of the adenomers. Secretion process.

Endocrine glandular tissue. Structural organization. Outline of the main endocrine glands (pituitary, parathyroid, adrenal, epiphyses, Langerhans islands, interstitial gland of the testis, thyroid).

CONNECTIVE TISSUES Origin and classification of connective tissues. Collagen, reticular and elastic fibers. Fundamental substance: chemical components and functions.

Connective tissue proper. Connective tissue cells: macrophages, mast cells, adipocytes, lymphocytes, granulocytes. Classification of connective tissues proper.

Cartilaginous tissue. Quantity, quality and arrangement of the fibers. Classification. Fundamental substance: chemical components and functions. Cartilage cells.

Bone tissue. General organization. Non-lamellar and lamellar bone tissue. Compact and spongy bone tissue. Structure and ultrastructure of the bone tissue. Bone cells (osteoblasts, osteocytes, osteoclasts). Bone matrix. Direct and indirect ossification.

Blood. Composition. Blood plasma. Erythrocytes. Leukocytes. Platelets. Functions. Myeloid tissue and lymphoid tissue: bone marrow, thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, diffuse lymphoid tissue. Morphology and functions.

CONTRACTILE TISSUES Striated skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscular tissues. Cellular organization and morphological aspects. Myofibrils, myofilaments, sarcomere, sarcoplasmic reticulum. Mechanism of contraction.

NERVOUS TISSUE Generality and subdivisions of the nervous system. General characters and variety of nerve cells. General histology of the nervous system. The neuron. Nerve fiber. Synapses. Structure and ultrastructure. Conduction of the nervous impulse. Function of synapses. Neuroglia: ependymocytes, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, Swann cells and satellite cells.


The choice of the text is free. Any university level book of Histology that include elements of cytology, published in the last decade, is suitable. During the first lessons, the teacher brings to view the most common texts on the market.

Teaching methods

The course will take place in 24 hours of frontal lessons. Specific iconography will be projected to support the theoretical foundations.

Assessment methods

The final test is an oral exam.
The questions will be aimed to ascertain the student knowledge on the topics defined in the course program.
The result achieved in this module will be integrated with the results achieved in the other modules of the integrated course.

Teaching tools

Powerpoint slides of the course are available.

Online tools:



Office hours

See the website of Luca Scapoli


Good health and well-being Quality education

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