00358 - Histology

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Luca Scapoli

  • Credits 3

  • SSD BIO/17

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Biomedical Laboratory techniques (cod. 8484)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Oct 26, 2021 to Jan 18, 2022


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

Good health and well-being Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

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.
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.



Isolation and purification of nucleic acids. Gel electrophoresis.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), theoretical bases and practice elements. Real time and digital PCR.

Main diagnostic uses of PCR.


The choice of the book is up to the student. Any university level book of Histology that include elements of cytology, published in the last ten years, 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 36 hours of  class. Specific iconography will be projected to support the theoretical foundations.

Assessment methods

The final test is an interview.
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 at UNIBO data base.

Online tool for microscopy:



Office hours

See the website of Luca Scapoli