Organ Physiopathology and Histopathology

A.Y. 2020/2021
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.
Expected learning outcomes
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 syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
The course will be held with some initial frontal lessons, in presence, followed by class on streaming, through Microsoft Teams. Lectures held in presence will be available also in streaming on the Teams platform and will be recorded. Material and support will be available on the Ariel web site.
Prerequisites for admission
The course implies the knowledge of basic concepts in Physics, Chemistry and Biology
Assessment methods and Criteria
Each course module is followed by a specific exam aimed to verify that the objectives of each module have been achieved. Exams will cover all the topics presented in each specific module.
The exam of the module "Organ Physiology" consists of an oral examination. For students participating in itinere to the lab tests, their personal outcome will concur with the final evaluation.
The exam of the module "Organ Physiopathology " consists in a written part (3 open questions and short answers (15-30 lines) for each question. Time allotted: 60 minutes) and a subsequent oral part (including a brief discussion of the student's written answers and 2 questions on different topics).
The exam of the module "Histopathology" is composed of 2 parts:
1. written part: 3 questions (example > Thrombosis: give a definition, describe the gross and histological findings and list the main causes). Short answer (5-10 lines) for each question. Time allotted: 30 minutes in total.
2. oral part: after passing the written part, the oral part consists in a discussion mainly based on the written part of the candidate. Slides of lectures represent the study material that is enough to prepare for the exam. They are provided to the students on the Ariel platform as pdf files.
Final mark will be the weighted average of module grades.
Organ Physiology and Pathology
Course syllabus
The module of Organ Physiology will address 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

The module of Physiopathology will address the following topics:
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
Teaching methods
This course is composed of frontal lessons, seminars, web-based laboratories and practical lab training. Material of lectures will be provided on UNIMI-Ariel website
Teaching Resources
- Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology, Author John E. Hall, Ed. Saunders, ISBN 9781455770052
- Human Physiology, L. Sherwood, ISBN-13: 978-1133104551
- Human Physiology: an integrated approach (7th ed. ), D.U. Silverthorn, ISBN-13: 978-0321981226
Lab of Comparative Histopathology
Course syllabus
1. Introduction
· Introduction to the course
· Veterinary pathology: an introduction
· In vivo studies in laboratory animals: the role of pathology
2. General anatomic pathology
· 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
· 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)
· Digital image analysis (DIA)
· Reading and reporting
4. Animal models
Models of cancer
· Models of angiogenesis
· Models of metastasis
· Models of inflammation
5. Spontaneous pathology of laboratory animals
6. Special pathology
· Liver
· Kidney
· Lung

Program of practical
1. Examination of histological slides at the microscope
2. Digital image analysis
3. Visit to a laboratory
Teaching methods
This course is composed of lectures, seminars and practical lab training.
Teaching Resources
Students are provided with PPT presentations of all lectures: these presentations represent the study material for the preparation of the exam.
Further material (PPT presentations and digital images of histological slides) related to the practicals are given to the students.
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
Tutorials: 16 hours
Lectures: 48 hours
Monday to Friday, by appointment
Via Balzaretti 9, floor 4
by appointment
Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences
10-12 am, Monday
Anatomia patologica, Facolty of Veterinary Medicine, Via Celoria 10, Milan