|SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR||BIO/14|
|MODULES||This unit is a module of:|
The module of Toxicology is part of the integrated course of Pharmacology and Toxicology, which is taught during the first year of the Master's Degree in Biotechnology, and concerrns the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. The module includes laboratory exercises.
Lectures will be held in English.
The Toxicology module aims at providing students with the basic knowledge regarding the interactions between xenobiotics and living organisms and the mechanisms through which such interactions can lead to harmful effects.
Students will acquire the fundamentals of Toxicology, the basic notions of toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics, and learn the basic concepts related to the evaluation of toxicity.
To this purpose, the course will address the mechanisms with which xenobiotics penetrate the body, are distributed, metabolized and eliminated and the factors that influence these processes and the toxic effect (Toxicokinetics). Furthermore, the main mechanisms of cell toxicity (radical production, alterations in calcium homeostasis, mitochondrial damage, genotoxicity, chemical carcinogenesis and developmental toxicity) and the action of different natural toxins (Toxicodynamics) will be illustrated. With regard to organ toxicity, neurotoxicity will be treated with a particular focus on glutamatergic excitotoxicity and its role in neurodegenerative pathologies. Finally, toxicity tests and methods for toxicological risk assessment will be illustrated.
In laboratory exercises, students will learn in vitro and in vivo methods for studying the release of neurotransmitters and the effects of xenobiotics.
Lessons with active learning techniques engaging students with scientific questions and reasonings. Use of the Wooclap platform for interactive student engagement. All the course topics will be illustrated in great detail during the lectures. The teaching materials used during the lectures will be available for students on the AulaWeb portal.
Lessons will be given face-to-face. For reasons of force majeure, the lessons can be delivered online, using the Microsoft Teams platform. Students will be promptly informed by the teacher.
Introduction to Toxicology. Definition of xenobiotic, toxic agent and toxin. General and specialist areas of toxicology. Local or systemic toxicity, immediate and delayed toxicity, reversible or irreversible toxicity.
Toxicokinetics. Factors influencing toxicity: absorbed dose, route of exposure, duration and frequency of exposure, toxication and detoxication processes, elimination rate.
Toxicodynamics. Reaction with the biological target: target attributes, types of reaction with the target, effects on the target. Major cellular toxicity mechanisms: structural damage or dysfunction. Oxidative stress, mitochondrial toxicity, alteration of calcium homeostasis. Methods for the measurement of free radicals, of oxidative stress of phospholipids, proteins and DNA, of intracellular calcium. Cell death: necrosis, apoptosis,autophagy and regulated necrosis (necroptosis, parthanatos, ferroptosis, pyroptosis). Cellular and tissue repair mechanisms. Genotoxicity, chemical carcinogenesis and developmental toxicity.
Drug interactions. Introduction. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic mechanisms of drug-drug, drug-herb and drug-food interactions. Consultation databases.
Organ toxicity. Due to CFU limitattion, organ toxicity will be focused on neurotoxicity. Neurotoxicity: neuronopathies, axonopathies, myelinopathies, neurotransmission toxicity. Glutamate excitotoxicity: toxic effects of monosodium glutamate and of natural occuring agonists of glutamate receptors. Glutamate excitotoxicity and its role in acute and chronic disorders of the central nervous system (cerebral ischemia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's Chorea, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, neuroAIDS). Adult neurogenesis: a mechanism of cell replacement and neurorepair.
Natural toxins. Molecular targets, mechanisms of action and their use in pharmaco-toxicological studies.
Toxicity tests and risk assessment. Acute toxicity test and determination of the LD50. Therapeutic index (TI) and margin of safety (MOS). Subacute, subchronic and chronic toxicity tests. Short and long-term carcinogenesis tests. Genotoxicity tests. Developmental toxicity test.
Laboratory exercises. Superfused synaptosomes and gliosomes as in vitro models for the study of neuro/gliotransmission and alterations by xenobiotics. Intracerebral microdialysis as in vivo model to study the effects of xenobiotics on neurotransmission in vivo.
Galli, Corsini, Marinovich. Tossicologia. Ed. Piccin;
Greim, Deml. Tossicologia. Ed. Zanichelli;
Klaasen , Watkins III. Casarett & Doull's. Elementi di Tossicologia. Ed. Ambrosiana;
Cantelli Forti, Galli, Hrelia, Marinovich. Tossicologia molecolare e cellulare. Ed. UTET.
Office hours: on appointment
TULLIO FLORIO (President)
ERNESTO FEDELE (President)
All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.
The integrated course of Pharmacology and Toxicology involves an oral exam on the topics covered in lectures.
In case of any emergency that does not allow exams in presence for a relevant period of time (e.g. Covid-19 pandemic), exams will be carried out online using the Microsoft Teams platform. Students will be promptly informed of any change by AulaWeb messaging.
The assessment of learning outcomes will be carried out during the oral examination by evaluating the student's competence on the different topics of the course program, the use of appropriate scientific terminology and capabilities of scientific reasoning.