cod. 1001641

Academic year 2014/15
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Anatomia degli animali domestici (VET/01)
Discipline della struttura e funzione degli organismi animali
Type of training activity
68 hours
of face-to-face activities
5 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: HISTOLOGY EMBRYOLOGY ZOOLOGY

Learning objectives

The module “Histology and General Embriology” is part of the course “Histology, Embriology and Zoology”. The module aims to enable the student to know and understand the concepts of cytology, histology and embryology and to acquire the knowledge for the recognition of the various tissues by light microscopy. In addition to understanding the dynamics of development from gametogenesis to the formation of the embryonic three germ layers, changes in the birth of the fetal circulation, the dynamics of the formation of the fetal membranes and placentation in animals of veterinary interest. At the end of the course, the student have to demonstrate to know and understand the notions given on the various topics during the frontal teaching and practical activity. Particularly, the student have to: correlate the structural features to the functions at both the subcellular, both cellular and tissue levels; apply this knowledge in the recognition of the various tissues through optical microscope analysis; know the gametogenesis, the formation of the three germ layers, the fetal circulation, the fetal membranes and placentation in animals of veterinary interest.


Specific knowledge required by the admission test and when necessary, recovery of the educational debt in Biology.

Course unit content

The course includes theoretical lessons that take place in the classroom and theoretical-practical lessons that take place both in the histology and in the microscopy labs. The course is divided into three parts. The first part of the course dedicated to the cytology treated of the structure of eukaryotic cell. The second part give notions of general embryology from gametogenesis to germ layers formation and regarding the species of veterinary interest, covers fetal membranes, placentation, fetal circulation and changes at birth will be treated.
In the third part, that is devoted to histology, the teacher provides knowledge on structural and functional characteristics of the various tissues and on the techniques and equipment necessary for the preparation of histological slides and their analysis. In the practical lessons the student is exercised in recognition of tissues by light microscopy. For the practical activity is required the distribution of students in different groups, the number of groups is related both with the total number of students and with the labs and room capacity.

Full programme

Frontal teaching:
The Biological membrane and the Plasma membrane: structure.
Cytoplasmic organelles: Smooth and Rough Endoplasmatic Reticulum, Ribosomes, Golgi Apparatus, Lysosomes, Peroxisomes, Mitocondria, Cytoskeleton: Microtubules, Microfilaments, Intermediate filaments; Centrioles, Centrosome.
Interphase Nucleus: Nuclear Envelope, Nucleoplasm: Nuclear Matrix, Chromatin: Euchromatin, Heterochromatin and Nucleolus.
Intercellular and cell to matrix junctions: Occluding junctions; Adherens Junctions: Adhesion belt, Desmosomes, Hemidesmosomes and Focal adhesions; Communicating junctions. Junctional complex.
Specializations of the apical edge of plasma membrane; structural features and localizations: Microvilli, Cilia, Sterociglia.
Stages of cell cycle. Proliferation state, potency and cell differentation.
Remind of cell division: Mitosis and Meiosis. Definition of programmed cell death.

Spermatogenesis e Oogenesis.
From spermiogenesis to anfimixis.
Gastrulation: formation of the three germ layers.
Derivatives of the embryonic germ layers.
Placenta and extraembryonic membranes in mammals of veterinary interest.
Fetal circulation and changes at birth.
Embryonic anexa in birds.

Instruments and methods for cell and tissue observation and study.
Methods for the preparation of a histology section: sample harvest, fixation, dehydration, embedding, sectioning, staining and mounting.
Elements of histological staining.
Structural organization of organs: Pipe organ, Parenchymatous organs, Laminar organs.
Epithelium Tissue: Embryonic origin and distinctive tissue characteristics.
Lining Epithelium: Classification and localizations: Simple epithelium, Pseudostratified Epithelium, Stratified Epithelium, Sensory Epithelium, Specialized Epithelium.
Glandular Epithelium Exocrine glands: Localizations and classification relative to: number of secretory cells, disposition respect the organ wall, secretory units characteristics, ducts system characteristics, method of secretion, secetory product.
Endocrine glands: Localizations and classification relative to: number of secretory cells, structural features: Solid cell cord gland, Follicular gland, diffuse cells gland.
Connective Tissue: Embryonic origin, Cells and extracellular matrix, Localizations and classification.
Embryonic Connective Tissue.
Adult Connective Tissue:
Proper Connective Tissue:
Collagen Connective Tissue:
Regular: woven fibres, parallel fibres.
Reticular Connective Tissue.
Elastic Connective Tissue.
Pigmented Connective Tissue.
Adipose Connective Tissue: Brown, White.
Specialized Connective Tissue:
Cartilage Tissue:
Classification and localizations: Hyaline Cartilage, Fibrocartilage, Elastic Cartilage.
Features of cartilage cells and matrix.
Bone Tissue:
Classification and localizations: Woven bone, Lamellar bone, Compact bone, Spongy bone.
Features of bone cells and matrix; Compact and Cancellous or Spongy bone: Bone lamellae, Osteons.
Bone Tissue and Bones:
Periosteum, Endosteum,. Medullary cavità.
Bone marrow: Red, Yellow, Gelatinous.
Diaphysis > Body. Epiphyses > Extremities. Metaphyses.
Fluid Ground Substance Connective Tissue. Blood and Lymph:
Cell and plasma components.
Structural characteristics of:
Leucocytes: Monoytes, T Lymphocytes, B Lymphocytes,
Granulocytes: Neutrophils, Eosinophils, Basophils,
Muscle Tissue: Embryonic origin and classification of muscle tissue:
Smooth Muscle Tissue,
Striated Muscle Tissue,
Striated Cardiac Muscle Tissue.
Nervous Tissue. General details on nervous tissue and nervous system.
Histogenesis of nervous tissue.
Neuroglial cells.
Myelin and non-myelinated nerve fibres; Nerve fibers.

Practical teaching:
Visit to the histological laboratory.
Technical procedure for paraffin embedded histology.
Methods to use the components of optic microscope.
Resolution, magnification, penetration depth.
Focus and observation of histologic specimen.
Identification of histologic staining.
Identification of nucleus and cytoplasm.
Identification of the Lining Epithelium tissue:
Simple squamous Epithelium.
Simple cuboidal Epithelium.
Simple columnar Epithelium.
Pseudostratified cuboidal or columnar, ciliated Epithelium.
Stratified squamous Epithelium
Stratified squamous, more or less keratinized Epithelium.
Stratified squamous, differential keratinized Epithelium.
Stratified squamous, keratinized Epithelium: Skin.
Transitional Epithelium.
Identification of the Glandular Epithelium tissue:
Acinar–branched gland (Sebaceous gland).
Coiled-tubular gland (Sudoriparous gland).
Compound tubulo-acinar, serous secreted gland.
Compound tubulo-acinar, mixed secreted gland.
Simple tubular gland.
Branched tubular gland.
Simple unicellular gland.
Labirinthic gland: liver.
Follicular gland.
Solid cell cord gland.
Identification of the Connective tissue:
Collagen Loose Connective.
Collagen Dense Irregular Connective.
Collagen Dense Regular Connective.
Hyaline Cartilage.
Spongy and Compact Bone.
Blood (Peripheral blood smear)
Identification of the Muscle tissue:
Smooth Muscle Tissue.
Striated Muscle Tissue.
Striated Cardiac Muscle Tissue.
Identification of the neuron: cell body and cellular processes.


In addition to the reference texts listed below, are available to students, in the special sites dedicated to them within the university homepage, accessible through identification and password, pictures of the histological slides used during the theoretical and practical activities:
Reference Text:
PELAGALLI G.V., e coll.: Embriologia, Morfogenesi e Anomalie dello Sviluppo, Idelson - Gnocchi, Napoli, 2009.
Other texts:
BARBIERI M., CARINCI P.: Embriologia, Ambrosiana, Milano.
BARONE R.: Anatomia Comparata dei Mammiferi Domestici, Vol 4, Edagricole, Bologna.
DE FELICI M., e coll.: Embriologia Umana - Morfogenesi – Processi molecolari - Aspetti Clinici, Piccin, Padova, Seconda edizione, 2013.
LATSHAW W. K.: Lo sviluppo degli Animali Domestici – Embriologia ad Orientamento Clinico, Ambrosiana, Milano.
NODEN DREW M., DE LAHUNTA A.: Embriologia degli Animali Domestici – Sviluppo normale e Malformazioni congenite, Edi-ermes, Milano.
-Cytology and Histology:
Reference Text:
Other texts:
CASASCO E.: Citologia Istologia, La Goliardica Pavese, Pavia.
COOPER G. M., HAUSMAN R. E.: La cellula un approccio molecolare, Piccin, Padova.
Reference Text:
ROSS M. H., PAWLINA W., BARNASH T. A.: Atlante di Istologia e Anatomia Microscopica, Ambrosiana, Milano, 2010.
Other atlases:
BACHA W. J., WOOD L. M.: Atlante a colori di istologia veterinaria, Delfino, Roma.
YOUNG B., LOVE J.S., STEVENS A., HEATH J. W.: Wheater – Istologia e anatomia microscopica, Elsevier Masson, Milano.

Teaching methods

The course includes theoretical lessons that take place in the classroom and theoretical-practical lessons that take place both in the histology and microscopy labs, where the students exercise to the tissues identification by light microscopy. The practical activity is organized supplying in advance to each student, through web page accessible through user and password, the work plan of the practical activity, to allow students the preparatory study. For the practical activity is required the distribution of students in different groups, the number of groups is related to the total number of students, on the lab and room capacity and allowing each student to work independently.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam, structured to evaluate the achievement of the objectives of the course, include a practical and an oral tests. The practical test consist on the recognition of tissues within an histological slide by the optical microscope and produce a short written with a scheme representing the observed tissue The oral examination is based on the discussion of the written scheme from the practical test and on the answers to 3 questions, one for each part of the course, randomly identified by the computer.
The exam aims to evaluate whether the student has achieved the goal of knowledge and understanding of the content and the ability to apply the knowledge gained.
The exam grade is associated with the overall assessment of the responses given by the student, weighted according to the load time of each part of the course; however, having regard to the mode of selection of questions, nowhere are permitted answers seriously insufficient (equal to or less than 4 of 10).
The examination will be completed with the second part, in the exams scheduled, with the definition of the final evaluation.

Other information

- - -