37185 - Histology and Embryology 1

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

At the end of the course, the student has skills in the morpho-functional organization of the various types of cells, subcellular structures and extra cellular components making up human tissues. He also has expertise on their stem precursors, on cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as on the mechanisms of histogenesis, renewal and tissue regeneration. The student also knows human embryology, the related regulatory mechanisms and the main alterations.

Course contents


Prokaryotes and eukaryotes: general information on the cell (plasma membrane, cytosol). Shape and size of the various cytotypes. Relationship between morphology and function. Cytoskeleton, junction systems. Concept of cell in relation to the extracellular matrix General characteristics of the extracellular matrix: structure, composition and rearrangement of the matrix.

EMBRYOLOGY AND HISTOLOGY 1                                           Hints of gametogenesis, fertilization. Concept of totipotency and stem cells. Segmentation. Blastomeres. Morula. Concept of differentiation. Epigenetics. First week of development: from morula to blastocyst Second week: preparation for the implant (corpus luteum, endometrium, menstrual cycle). Implantation: apposition, adhesion, invasion, decidual reaction, immune tolerance, nesting). Syncytiotrophoblast, cytotrophoblast, epiblast, hypoblast. Formation of the amniotic cavity and the yolk sac. Formation of the extra-embryonic mesoderm and the chorionic cavity. Third week: initial stages of gastrulation and formation of the three leaflets and their derivatives General organization of the different tissues: classification and general characteristics.

1) Epithelial tissues: generalities and classification Coating epithelia: classification and morpho-functional aspects Secreting epithelia: synthesis of macromolecules intended for export. Aspects of the internal membranous system (REL, RER, Golgi apparatus, vesicles). Exocytosis and secretion. Exocrine secreting tissue. Classification and morpho-functional aspects Endocrine secreting tissue. Morpho functional aspects 2) Tissues of mesenchymal origin: Embryonic connective tissue or mesenchyme. Connective cells (fixed cells, migrating cells) Lysosomes, Peroxisomes. Properly called adult connective tissues Adipose tissue and mitochondria. Blood Figured elements and plasma. Functional aspects Hematopoietic tissue - Notes on the mechanisms of hematopoiesis Lymphoid tissue. Cells and organs of the lymphatic system. Notes on immunity Cartilage tissue: cellular component, extracellular matrix, classification and chondrogenesis Bone tissue: organization and classification, cellular components and extracellular matrix, mineralization of the matrix. Osteogenesis and remodeling. 3) Muscle tissues: classification. Morpho-functional aspects of skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle tissue. 4) Nervous tissue: Cellular populations (neurons and glial cells). Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Axon flow, synapse structure, myelin sheath. Morpho-functional aspects of neurlia. Morphogenesis: elementary morphogenetic processes (proliferation and apoptosis, movement, polarization, asymmetric division, epithelial-mesenchymal transition) Control of morphogenesis and development: mosaic and regulatory development, morphogens, induction and competence, body axes, extracellular signaling Gastrulation in detail (third week) primitive line and Hensen's node, formation of embryonic sheets, notochord and notochord process, evolution of the mesoderm, neural plate, neural tube and neural crests Events of the fourth week completion of neurulation, final fate of the ectoderm, embryo folding, beginning of organogenesis Derivatives of the three leaflets (ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm). Outlines of organogenesis. Embryonic appendages PLEASE NOTE: All the material presented in class will be put online on the online teaching platform (VIRTUAL). The slides represent an outline for the study of the topics that must be explored in the textbooks.


Adamo ed altri autori "Istologia di Monesi" editore Piccin VII edizione

Mattioli Belmonte ed altri autori "Istologia Umana" editore Idelson-Gnocchi

Altri testi consultabili:

N. Maraldi e C. Tacchetti Istologia Medica Edi-Ermes

N. Maraldi e C. Tacchetti Biologia Citologia Medica Edi-Ermes

M. Ross & W. Pawlina Istologia CEA •

P.Rosati, R.Colombo, N.Maraldi Istologia Edi-Ermes

Barbieri M e Carinci P Embriologia Ambrosiana

Rosati P. Embriologia generale dell'uomo Edi-ermes

Teaching methods

The course consists of 5 CFU of lectures which aim to make the student acquire the topics described in the program in depth.

Assessment methods

The assessment consists of a preliminary practical test with which the student will have to recognize the histological preparations. Failure to achieve sufficiency, in the recognition of histological preparations, precludes the continuation of the examination. The oral exam will focus on topics of Cytology, Histology and Embryology according to the published program. Insufficiency in any of the disciplines is not admitted. In the event of failure to pass the oral test, the candidate will have the right to maintain the result achieved in the practical test or alternatively take it again. The practical test grade is kept valid for 6 months. The final grade will take into account the weighted average of the results achieved. It is mandatory to register on Almaesami. Gradation of the final grade: Very limited preparation on the topics covered in the course, need for the teacher's help to start the discussion, expression in overall correct language → 18-19; Limited preparation on the topics covered in the course and with autonomy of discussion and correct language → 20-24; Preparation on a large number of topics covered in the course, ability to make autonomous choices of critical analysis, mastery of specific terminology → 25-29; Comprehensive preparation on the topics covered in the course, ability to make autonomous choices of critical analysis and connection, full mastery of specific terminology and ability to argue and self-reflection → 30-30L.

Teaching tools

The teaching material presented during the lessons will be available to the student in electronic format via the internet. Students will be able to access the teaching material  through the online teaching support platform. The slides represent an outline for the study of the topics that must be explored in the textbooks.

Office hours

See the website of Catia Giovannini