Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

After attending the course, the student has the basic knowledge on the toxicological effects of xenobiotics (drugs, environmental and food contaminants..) in humans exposed. In particular, the student will be able to assess the appropriate experimental approaches to the definition of the mechanisms of action of toxics.

Course contents

General toxicology: Toxicokinetics: absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination. Metabolic polymorphisms and individual susceptibility in toxicology. Toxicodinamycs.

Special Toxicology: genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, embryotoxicity. Allocations.

Toxicology of organs and systems: renal toxicity, liver toxicity. Toxic effects on the respiratory and nervous system.

Toxics: toxicity from natural and synthetic substances; GMOs; pesticides, solvents.

Environmental Toxicology: food additives and food contaminants; air, water and soil pollutants. Ecotoxicology: biomarkers and environmental monitoring.

Animal testing: GLP, scientific and ethical limits, extrapolation; alternative methods to the use of animals: isolated organs, cell cultures. Toxicity tests.

Toxicological risk assessment.

Presentation and discussion of scientific articles related to the main course contents.
Presentation and discussion of scientific articles related to the issues discussed during the course.
Presentation and discussion of scientific articles related to the issues discussed during the course.


Casaret & Doull - Elementi di Tossicologia - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano, ed. 2013.
H. Greim, E. Deml - Tossicologia - Zanichelli, Bologna, I ed. 2000.

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

During the course, students will present a paper from the scientific literature. To this presentation it will be assigned a rating that represents 50% of the final grade. Then, the oral examination will follow; to this inteview will be assigned a rating that will be the other half of the final grade.

The oral examination consists in evaluating the critical skills gained by the student. The achievement of a comprehensive vision of the studied issues, combined with their critical use, the specific language proficiency will be evaluated with marks of excellence. The mechanical knowledge and/or mnemonics of matter, synthesis and analysis not articulated and/or language not always appropriate, will lead to fair valuations. Minimum knowledge of the examination material and/or not complete mastery of specific language will lead to just sufficient votes. Gaps, inappropriate language, total lack of orientation within the topics covered during the course will be evaluated negatively.

Teaching tools


Office hours

See the website of Donatella Canistro