Organ Physiopathology and Histopathology

A.Y. 2019/2020
Lesson for
Overall hours
BIO/09 MED/04 VET/03
Learning objectives
The goal of the course is to provide the students an overview of the integrated physiological systems involved in homeostasis and in complex behaviours and of the processes which may be altered by xenobiotics. First, the course will provide the concepts of organ physiology necessary to understand the impact of xenobiotics on body homeostasis. This will include principles of physiological regulation of whole organ functions. Then, the course will provide information regarding comparative pathology of laboratory animals (mice, in particular) as models of human diseases. More specifically, the discussed topics will include: how to perform a mouse necropsy, including sampling procedures, classification of lesions, histological and immunohistochemical techniques in experimental pathology, digital image analysis in pathology and experimental animals as models of human diseases. The course will also describe the pathogenetic mechanisms leading to organ dysfunction and disease after acute or chronic exposure to xenobiotics. Both systemic and local perturbations of homeostasis will be described, and related symptoms and alterations of physiological parameters will be studied together with the available diagnostic tools. Finally, the course will provide information regarding comparative histopathology (integrative study of human and animal pathology to gain knowledge by comparing disease mechanisms across species and to use this for the benefit of both human and animal health) of laboratory animals (mice in particular) as models of human diseases. More specifically: classification of lesions, how to perform a necropsy of a mouse and sampling procedures, histological and immunohistochemical techniques in experimental pathology, digital image analysis in pathology and main animals models of human diseases.
At the end of the course, the students are expected to possess a knowledge and understanding in basic histopathology. The acquired skills and competencies will allow the students to recognize the main types of lesions (especially those of toxicological relevance) in both humans and laboratory animals and to know their causes and the way of their development. Moreover, the students are expected to understand and interpret a toxicological pathology report.

Course structure and Syllabus

Active edition
Lab of Comparative Histopathology
VET/03 - VETERINARY PATHOLOGY - University credits: 3
Individual laboratory activities: 16 hours
Lectures: 16 hours
Professor: Scanziani Eugenio
Organ Physiology and Pathology
BIO/09 - PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 0
: 16 hours
Lectures: 48 hours
Organ Physiology and Pathology
This module will face the basic mechanisms and processes regulating the function of most important organs in humans, such as liver, kidney, lung, skin, gut and nervous system.

Principal of general and cellular physiology
Membrane transports, toxicant metabolism, excretion
Liver physiology
Hepatic functions secretion, clearance
Kidney physiology
Renal filtration, excretion, secretion, clearance
Respiratory physiology
Lung functions, gas exchange, oxygen transport
Acid/Base control, renal and lung buffer systems
Skin physiology: absorption, metabolism
Nervous system physiology, potential, conduction
Autonomic, somatic, motor nervous system
Digestive system physiology
Gastric/gut, motility, secretion, digestion

Module of physiopathology

Principles of general and organ pathology
Atrophy, hypertrophy, hyperplasia, metaplasia
Inflammation (acute, chronic, mechanisms)
Molecular pathophysiology of cancerogenesis
Infectious agents and cancer
Chemical agents and cancer
Physical agents and cancer
Cancer staging
Liver diseases
Liver function assessment
Mechanisms of liver damage progression
Viral hepatitis
Non-alcoholic liver diseases
Toxic liver damage
Lung diseases
Infectious diseases
Obstructive diseases
Restrictive diseases
Adult respiratory distress syndrome
Respiratory failure
Kidney diseases
Kidney function assessment
Cystic renal diseases
Acute and chronic kidney failure
Kidney cancer
Kidney stones
Toxic kidney damage
Blood diseases
Biomarkers of blood diseases
Lymphomas (Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin)
Endocrine disruptors (ED)
Principles of hormone function
Mechanisms of action of EDs
Pathological features of specific ED action
Lab of Comparative Histopathology
1. Introduction (1 hour)
· Introduction to the course
· Veterinary pathology: an introduction
· In vivo studies in laboratory animals: the role of pathology
2. General anatomic pathology (6 hours)
· Malformations
· Lesions due to physical agents
· Lesions due to chemical agents
· Nutritional diseases
· Modification of cellular growth
· Degeneration, distrophy, apoptosis, necrosis
· Pathological mineralization and pigmentation
· Circulatory disturbances
· Inflammation
· Tumors
3. Techniques in histology (2 h)
· Necropsy
· Sampling, fixation and processing for histopathology
· Special stainings in histopathology
· Immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF), fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM and SEM)
· Scoring of lesions
· Digital image analysis (DIA)
4. Animal models (1 h)
· Models of cancer
· Models of angiogenesis
· Models of metastasis
· Models of inflammation
5. Spontaneous pathology of laboratory animals (1 h)
6. Special pathology (4 h)
· Liver
· Kidney
· Lung
· Intestine

Program of practical
1. Examination of hisytological slides at the microscope (8 hours)
2. Digital image analysis (2 hours)
3. Visit to a laboratory (6 hours)
Organ Physiology and Pathology
as above
Lab of Comparative Histopathology
as above
Lesson period
First semester
Lesson period
First semester
Assessment methods
Assessment result
voto verbalizzato in trentesimi
Monday to Friday, by appointment
Via Balzaretti 9, floor 3A
by appointment
Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences
10-12 am, Monday
Anatomia patologica, Facolty of Veterinary Medicine, Via Celoria 10, Milan