Learning outcomes of the course unit
- to know and describe the general characteristics of antigens, molecular structures (antibodies, receptors, cytokines), cells, tissues and organs of the immune system; the components and the interactions of innate and acquired immune responses.
- to know and understand the mechanisms of the innate and adaptive, humoral and cellular immune responses to invading microorganisms.
- to understand the causes and the pathogenesis of the most important alterations of the immune response.
To pass the exam of Biochemistry
Course contents summary
Blood: general features, blood composition and blood cells. Stem cells. Haematopoiesis: myeloid and lymphoid differentiation pathways.
Innate immunity: recognition of pathogens associated molecular patterns (PAMP) and danger signals by pathogen recognition receptors (PRR). Components of the innate immune system: epithelial barriers, Complement (C), acute phase proteins, cytokine, fagocytes and inflammatory response, monocytes/macrophages, neutrophil, eosinophil and basophil granulocytes, mastocytes. Natural killer cells (NK).
Cardinal features of the adaptive immune responses: specificity, diversity, memory, clonal expansion, homeostasis and non-reactivity to self. Development of B and T lymphocytes. Anatomy and functions of the lymphoid tissues. Recirculation and homing of lymphocytes.
Antigens (Ags) and antibodies (Abs). Molecular structure of Abs. Ag-Ab interaction. The relation between structure and function of Abs. Antibody classes.
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The antigen presentig cells (APCs). Antigen processing and presentation to T lymphocytes. Maturation of lymphocytes and generation of diversity in antigen receptors (BCR and TCR) of B and T cells.
Activation of T lymphocytes. Activation of B lymphocytes.
Effector mechanisms of humoral immunity: toxin neutralization, opsonization and phagocytosis, ADCC, C activation by classical pathway. Effector mechanisms of cell-mediated immunity: TH1, TH2, CTL and regulatory T lymphocytes. Cytokines.
Immunological tolerance. Pathogenesis and examples of autoimmune diseases.
General features of immune responses to microbes. Immune evasion by intracellular and extracellular bacteria, viruses and parasites. Vaccination.
Immune response to transplantation. Immune response to tumors.
Hypersensitivity diseases: immediate (anaphylaxis and allergy, type I); antibody-dependent (type II), immune complex-mediated (type III), and delayed-type (T cell-mediated, type IV).
Immunohaematology. Blood groups and blood transfusion. Haemolitic disease of the newborn.
Congenital and acquired immunodeficiences. HIV and AIDS.
- Abbas - Lichtman - Pillai: Cellular and Molecular Immunology. 6th ed. 2007 Elsevier
- Murphy - Travers - Walport: Janeway's Immunobiology 7th edition - 2008 Garland
- Delves - Martin - Burton - Roitt: Roitt's Essential Immunology. 11th ed. 2006 Blackwell
- Robbins – Cotran: Pathologic bases of deseases. 2006 Elsevier