00547 - Histology and Embryology

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student acquires the knowledge of the tissues of the human body and describe the structures and the development of the human embryo at different stages.

Course contents


Histological differentiation and organization into four basic tissues.

Epithelial tissues

Ultrastructure and function of epithelial cells. Histological classification.

Covering epithelium. Structure functions, classification and distribution. Junction complexes, adhesion molecule relationships and cytoskeletal elements. Keratinization mechanisms. Regeneration.

Glandular epithelium. Structure and function of glands. Exocrine and endocrine secretion (parenchyma and stroma). Histology and function of Exocrine Glands. Classification. Overview of Endocrine System. Regulatory mechanism of endocrine secretion. Hormones.

Connective Tissue

Embryonic development and distribution. Cells and extracellular matrix (ECM): collagen and elastic fibers, amorphous ground substance. Role of different cellular elements. Classification.

Connective tissue proper. Classification. Mucous connective tissue. Loose connective tissue. Reticular and elastic tissues. Dense regular and irregular tissues. Adipose tissues (unilocular and multilocular).

Cartilage. Histological structure and classification. Perichondrium. Cartilage growth and repairing.

Bone. Trabecular and compact bone: cells and ECM. Direct and indirect ossification. Bone turnover.

Blood. Hematopoiesis. Structure and function of blood. Plasma and cells. Histology of bone marrow and emopoietic cell differentiation.

Muscle tissue

Classification and organization. Smooth muscle: ultrastructure and function. Contraction mechanism.

Skeletal Muscle: ultrastructure and organization of skeletal muscle fibers. Histology and function of Cardiac muscle.

Nervous tissue

Structural and functional organization of the nervous tissue. Types of neurons. Ultrastructure of myelinated and unmyelinated nerve fibers. Ultrastructure of synapses. Structure and function of glia.


Introduction to human development

First week of human development

Cleavage of zygote - Formation of blastocyst

Second week of human development

Implantation - Formation of amniotic cavity - Embryonic - Development of chorionic sac

Third week of human development

Gastrulation - Formation of germs layers – Neurulation

Fourth Week of human development

Folding of embryo - Head and tail folds - Lateral folds

Embryonal adnexa

Amnios - vitelline sac – allantois – chorion - umbilical cord - placenta


§ " Istologia umana per le professioni sanitarie " - AA VV- Ed. Idelson-Gnocchi

The material used during the lessons is available since the first lesson by login at the Platform for teaching support service - Insegnamenti on line.

Teaching methods

The course will take place in 24 hours of frontal lecture. Specific iconography will be showed to support the theoretical bases. The acquisition of the knowledge will be frequently monitored through interaction with students.

Assessment methods

The end-of-course exam consists of an interview aimed at evaluating the achievement of the following educational objectives:

§ know the structure of the various cytotypes that constitute the tissues of the human organism

§ know the classification and the subclassifications of the 4 main tissues

§ understand the correlations between the various tissues, knowing the morphofunctional aspects

§ know the different stages of the human embryo development

The vote attributed to the Histology test will do average with the votes achieved in the contextual tests of Anatomy and Physiology, concreting the final vote of the integrated course that will be expressed in thirtieths. The online registration to the examination is mandatory.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentations.

Office hours

See the website of Marcella Martinelli