Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
First Semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge on the morpho-functional organization of cells and animal tissues. The aim of the course is to guide students to understand the characteristics of the morphology and functions of the different cellular organelles, of cell differentiation and specialization and of intercellular and extracellular cell-matrix interactions, the architecture and function of the different tissues. The course includes a practical part of laboratory activities dedicated to the preparation and examination of histological preparations.



Chemical composition of protoplasm: 2 hours
-water, lipids, carbohydrates, protides, their structure. Nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), notes on duplication and transcription and protein synthesis.
The levels of organization in biology: 2 hours
-viruses, prokaryotes, eukaryotes.
The main techniques and devices for the study of cells and tissues: 4 hours
-Microscopes (M. optic, M. fluorescence, M. confocal, M. transmission and scanning electron), the common techniques of staining in optical and electronic microscopy (slicing technique, histological staining, histochemical and immunohistochemical staining) specific colors for nucleic acids.
Cytology :
The plasma membrane: 5 hours
- structure and functions (structural models, permeability, active and passive transport, transport mechanisms), glycocalyx and its function, cellular junctions.The cell surface: structure, composition and function of the cell membrane, transport mechanisms, differentiation of the cell surface (microvilli, cilia and flagella, systems of junction between cells, cellular interactions).
The cytoplasm: 10 hours
- the cytoskeleton: microtubules, microfilaments and intermediate filaments, the relationship between cytoskeleton and plasma membranes, cell movements.
-The smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum and their functionsthe Golgi apparatus and cellular secretion,lysosomes: cell digestion (phagocytosis and endocytosis)
-the peroxisomes,mitochondria and cellular energy processes.
The nucleus: 6 hours
the nuclear envelope.Chromatin: composition and structure, heterochromatin and euchromatin, DNA duplication and RNA transcription, heterogeneous RNA, introns and exons).Chromosomes: structural models, techniques for the study of chromosomes (karyotype, and banding colors)The nucleolus and biogenesis of ribosomesstructure and ultrastructure of ribosomes (notes on protein synthesis).Mitosis and its regulation, DNA cycle in Mitosis.Meiosis and its biological meaning, Apoptosis;
Epithelial tissue: 5 hours
coating epiteliexocrine glandular epithelia (the main exocrine glands, liver and pancreas).Endocrine glands and their function
Connective tissue: 10 hours
The connective tissues proper: the fundamental substance, fibers, cellular types of connective tissue and their function (outline of the defense mechanisms) of the intercellular connective tissue (amorphous part and fibers) of the connective cells.connective tissue of support: cartilage, bone, ossificationblood: plasma, serum, erythrocytes, leukocytes, platelets. Hematopoiesis as a model of cell differentiation.Lymphoid tissue and immunity (generality).
Muscle tissue: 2 hours
smooth, skeletal and cardiac muscle tissue.
Nervous tissue: 2 hours
the neuron and its structure, the nerve fiber and myelin sheaths, the axonic flow of the synapse and its function.Glia and its function.

Teaching Methods

The course includes 48 hours of lectures, and practical laboratory activities.

Laboratory activities:
Preparation of the histological slides: slicing with the microtome, distension of the slices on the slide.
Use of the optical microscope
Observation of histological preparations: epithelial tissue, proper connective tissue, bone tissue, cartilage tissue, blood, muscle tissue, nervous tissue.


Lectures in pdf format provided by the teacher during the course, available on the link e-learning of Science and Technology Department.
Reference books:
BIOLOGIA- cellula e tessuti (ED. Ermes). Colombo -Olmo
Texts to be refer for more details.
Alberts et al.: Biologia Molecolare della cellula –Essenziale . Ed. Zanichelli.
Wolfe: Biologia molecolare e cellulare. (Ed. Edises.
Fawcett: Trattato di Istologia (12°ed.)Ed McGraw – Hill.
Wether: Istologia – Casa Editrice Ambrosiana
Kerr : Istologia funzionale. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.

Learning assessment

The objective of the exam is to check the level of achievement of the above-mentioned training objectives. The exams consists of two tests elapsed written, a final oral examination and recognition of histological preparations under the microscope and / or on histology atlases.

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