78786 - General Pathology and Immunology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Annalisa Pession (Modulo 1) Annalisa Pession (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Biotechnology (cod. 8005)

Learning outcomes

This course will focus on examination of the molecular basis of human diseases and the application of genetic, biochemical and molecular biological principles to an understanding of the diseases. Course emphasizes inherited human disorders and cancer.

Course contents


General pathology

Concepts of disease, ethiology and pathogenesis. Cell pathology. Cell death: necrosis and apoptosis. Acute inflammation: features and ethiology; microcirculation alterations and exudate formation; cellular recruitment and phagocytosis; chemical mediators; classification and exits; systemic effects. Chronic inflammation: macrophage role; aspecific forms; granulomas; tubercular disease. Immunology:Introduction to the Immune System (IS); features and functions of the IS; Primary and secondary response. Innate and specific Immunity; cells and tissues of the IS. Lymphocytes, macrophages, granulocytes, dendritic cells, etc. Leukocyte formula.    Development and maturation of the cells of the IS, mechanisms of positive and negative selection.Innate immunity: general features. Components of the innate immunity: epithelial barriers, preformed proteins, professional phagocytes, NK cells, gamma/delta lymphocytes. Mechanisms of phagocytosis and of NK cytotoxicity. PAMPS and DAMPS and their recognition immunity (KIR receptors, Toll-like receptors. etc.). Secreted antibodies: structure, classification, functions of antibody types (IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE and IgD) . CD classification. Immunophenotypization. Natural antibodies. Lymphocyte activation and antibodies production. B-T cooperation. Discrimination between T-dependent and T-independent antigens. Cell-mediated immunity. T helper lymphocytes. T subpopulations: Th1, Th2, Th17. T helper cell functions (cytokine production, costimulation). Regulation of T cell response, peripheral tolerance. CD8+ lymphocytes. Antigen presentation to T cells. MHC restriction. Biological function and meaning of MHC restriction. Characteristics of MHC class I and II molecules. Unusual MHC (HLA-E, G and DM). Transplant immunology. Transplant rejection and pharmacological strategies to block it. Bone marrow transplant and GVHD. Repair. Neoplasias: classification; epidemiology; molecular bases of cancer; biology of tumor growth; cancerogen agents and cellular interactions; tumoral immunity; tumor grade and stage; laboratory diagnosis of neoplasias. Genetic diseases: chromosomal and mendelian diseases. Complex diseases.


Patologia generale
“Robbins e Cotran - Fondamenti di patologia e di fisiopatologia”, 7a edizione, Elsevier Italia 2010


P. Parham Il sistema immunitario II Ed. EdiSES

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

At the end of the Course, the student:  

- has acquired a cellular and molecular vision of pathology and immunology; 

- knows the mechanisms regulating organismal response to damage;

- is familiar with the main mechanisms of immune system which lie beneath the alterated immune responses.

The oral proof of General Pathology aim at verifying the acquisition of the knowledge detailed in the Course objectives and will be composed of two questions on topics covered in the Course.

In order to go through the final exam, the students must register in the electronic board respecting the deadline. Students that are not able to register can be admitted to the final proof anyway, provided they contact the professor by e-mail before the expected deadline.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be supplied on informatic supports (http://campus.unibo.it/).

Office hours

See the website of Annalisa Pession


Good health and well-being

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