IMMUNOLOGY AND IMMUNOPATHOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
During the first part of the course the student will learn basic knowledges on the immune system, the anatomy of the lymphoid organs, the perinatal development and the cellular elements involved in the response to pathogens, which will allow him to understand the mechanisms that the animal organism needs to fight most diseases. The student will know the importance of physical barriers, which exclude pathogens, of innate immunity, which gives a rapid initial response and adaptive immunity, which produces an effective and prolonged immunity over time. The student will be able to identify the different cells involved in the immune response and how they perform their function during the inflammatory event. The initial notions will allow the student to approach the second part of the course, during which he will understand the mechanisms of hyperergy of the immune system, thanks to which he will understand the complex manifestations of autoimmunity.
Course contents summary
The first part of the course will focus on mechanisms trough which mammalian organisms defends itself against pathogenic agents that cause illness, starting from physical barriers, which allow the exclusion of pathogens, to innate immunity that produces a prolonged protective effect.
Innate immunity is the body's second line of defense, able to respond quickly to stimuli that lead to the immediate activation of cell lines expressing a non-specific protective response.
The next line of defense of the organism is the acquired immunity, which can be mediated by antibodies, protecting against extracellular, or cell-mediated microorganisms, which protects the organism from intracellular pathogens and from elements of neoplastic origin .
The role of nutrients in the development of the immune system and of the immune response will also be illustrated.
The course will include a functional anatomy section of the immune system and perinatal development of the lymphatic organs and cells of the immune system.
The immunopathology section will cover: the immunological reactions that produce damage to the organism: the different types of hypersensitivity; autoimmunity, in which the organism triggers harmful mechanisms towards itself.
The immune mechanisms underlying acute and chronic inflammation will be illustrated with brief outline of the pathological manifestations of these processes.
The causes and consequences of the diseases that cause immunodepression will also be taken into consideration.
The immune system
Cells of innate immunity: functions of recognition and neutralization or destruction of pathogens
Cells of adaptive immunity. Formation of lymphocyte repertoires and clonal selection.
Overview on functional anatomy of the immune system (primary and secondary lymphoid organs, lymphocyte circulation)
Innate immunity and acquired immunity.
Antigens. Structure and functions of antibodies. Antigen-antibody bond. Monoclonal antibodies.
B lymphocyte receptor (BCR) and T lymphocyte (TCR).
APC cells. Structure and function of class I and II MHCs. Process of exogenous and endogenous Ag.
Activation of lymphocytes. Primary and secondary antibody response. Immunological memory.
Perinatal immunity and progressive acquisition of immunocompetence in the newborn.
Activation of immunity cells during acute and chronic inflammation. Systemic effects of inflammation.
Effects of nutrition on the development and functionality of the immune system.
Laboratory techniques based on the antigen-antibody reaction or on adaptive immunity cells.
Principles of immunopathology.
Hypersensitivity (type I, II, III, IV); Tolerance and autoimmunity: main pathogenic mechanisms; Immunodeficiencies and immunosuppression; Stress and immunity
Veterinary Immunology, Tizard I.R., Elsevier 9°edizione (2013)
Pier G., Lyczak J.B., Wetzler L.M., Immunologia Infezione, Immunità, (2006) Piccin
Murphy K, Travers P., Walport M, Janeway's Immunobiologia, (2009) Saunders
McGavin M.D., Zachary J.F., Patologia Generale Veterinaria, (2008) Elsevier
Robbins e Cotran-le basi patologiche delle malattie vol 1 (2010) Elsevier
Theoretical lessons with slides presentation (40 hours). 8 hours of practical observation of cytology of the cells involved in the immune response.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam ca be made orally or written on student’s choice. An open question, concerning each of the 4 subjects explained in the lessons will be posed. Each correct answer is up to 7.5 points. Knowledge emerges because the student have to be able to describe immunity mechanisms and associate them with immune pathologies. Communication skills are verified orally or by the quality of the essay and compliance with requisites. Self-judgements is manifested in the comprehension of the subject and in the skill to associate it to the different immonpathological situations. The exam is taken in about 2 hours