03766 - Immunology (AK-A)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Course contents

Immunology for Medical School

Introduction to the Immune System (IS): functions and features of IS; innate and acquired immunity; cells of the IS: lymphocytes, macrophages, granulocytes, dendritic cells, etc. Primary and secondary response.

Organs and tissues of the IS: generative and secondary organs (bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen, SI associated to the mucoses). Lymphatic System and lymphocyte recirculation. 

Innate Immunity: physical barriers, preformed proteins, professional phagocytes, NK and NKT cels, gamma-delta lymphocytes. Mechanisms of phagocytosis and killing of pathogens. Role and receptors of NK cells (NKC and LRC). Mechanisms of antigen recognition of Innate Immunity (TLR, RIG, NLR and inflammasome). The memory of Innate Immunity: the trained immunity.

Specific Immunity: features and functions, antigen receptors of cells of the specific immunity (membrane-linked antibodies and TCR), antigen recognition; creation of the receptor repertoire, somatic recombination, clonal distribution. MHC molecules, antigen processing and presentation; proteasome and immunoproteasome. Dendritic cells.

B Lymphocytes: features, development, maturation and activation; structure of B cell receptor. Functions in the Immune response: secreted antibodies: structure, functions, classification. Monoclonal antibodies in diagnostics and therapies.

T lymphocytes: features of T helper (CD4+) and cytotoxic (CD8+), development, maturation and activation; structure of T cell receptor. Functions in the Immune response: cell-mediated immunity. Production of cytokines, Th1 and Th2 lymphocytes, natural and induced Treg. Cytotoxicity. Regional immunity: the intestinal mucoses. Relationships with the gut microbiota. Th17 lymphocytes. Engineered T cells: CAR-T cells.

T-B Cooperation; costimulation: role of accessorial molecules; T-dependent and independent responses; isotypic switch; suppression of T cell response. Cytokines and cytokine receptors. Th1 and Th2 responses.

Tolerance: recognition and discrimination between self and non-self. Mechanisms of central and peripheral tolerance (anergy, deletion and suppression).

Effective phase of the Immune Response. Complement; activation of macrophages M1 and M2; delayed type hypersensitivity; Cytotoxic T lymphocytes activation;

How the IS ages: immunosenescence. Consequences of the decreased immune response on the susceptibility to age-associated diseases. Inflammation as a driving force of aging (inflammaging). Inflammaging and cytokine release storm: the special case of Covid-19. 

Immunopathology (hypersensitivity and immunodeficiencies), response to pathogens, vaccinology, and transplant immunology: for this part of the program, please refer to the web page of the module (AK-b) held by Dr. Miriam Capri.



Abbas, Lichtman, Pillai: Immunologia Cellulare e Molecolare, 2018 (nona edizione), EDRA. 

Geha, Notarangelo: Casi Studio in Immunologia, 2019 (settima edizione), Piccin

Peter Parham: IL Sistema Immunitario, 2017 (seconda edizione) EdiSES.

Teaching methods

frontal lectures with ppt slides

Assessment methods

Current assessment: due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exams are given online with the Microsoft Teams platform in oral form until new provisions. Students must register as usual in Almaesami, and they will receive an e-mail with the link and timetable of the exam session.

Previous method:

Students will have access to the exam if they have attended at least 66% of the lessons.

The learning assessment is in written form and consists of two parts:

- the first part consists of two free-answer questions on themes of the Course. Every question can contribute to the final mark with 10 points out of 30. Insufficient answer (<6 out of 10) to one of these questions leads to test failure with no further evaluation of the second part.

- the second part consists of 40 quiz of the type "true-or-false" on themes of the Course. Every correct answer contributes with 3/10 points, every wrong answer leads to a penalty of -1/10. The total points available for this parts are 12.

Further information on exam evaluation can be be required during the first lesson of the Course.

Attention: a single exam mark will be registered for the Integrated Course by averaging the two marks of Immunology and Molecular Pathology. 

The person in charge of the registration is the Responsible for the Integrated Course, Prof. Patrizia Nanni.

It is strongly suggested to obtain the marks for the two parts of the Integrated Course (immunology and Molecular Pathology) within one year.

Teaching tools

files di power point available at https://campus.unibo.it/cgi/search/simple?q=salvioli&_action_search=Search&_order=bytitle&basic_srchtype=ALL&_satisfyall=ALL


Office hours

See the website of Stefano Salvioli