Skip to main content
CODE 95311
ACADEMIC YEAR 2023/2024
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR BIO/14
LANGUAGE English
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 1° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

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.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

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.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

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; Toxicodynamics ) will be illustrated. Neurotoxicity will be discussed as an example of organ toxicity, with a particular focus on glutamatergic excitotoxicity and its role in neurodegenerative pathologies. Finally, toxicity tests for risk assessment will be illustrated.

In laboratory exercises, students will learn in vitro and in vivo methods related to the study of the effects of xenobiotics in the CNS.

TEACHING METHODS

Lessons 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. In case of emergency (e.g., hydrogeologic emergency), lessons will be given online, using the Microsoft Teams platform. Students will be promptly informed by the teacher.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

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. 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.

Toxicity tests. 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.

  • Preparation and purification of isolated nerve terminals (synaptosomes)
  • Determination of synaptosome protein content by spectrophotometric analysis
  • Assessment of synaptosome viability and response following exposure to xenobiotics by cytofluorimetric analysis
  • Intracerebral microdialysis for in vivo pharmacological/toxicological studies in the central nervous system: theoretical and practical aspects. 

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Galli, Corsini, Marinovich. Tossicologia. Ed. Piccin;

Greim, Deml. Tossicologia. Ed. Zanichelli;

Curtis D. Klaassen. Casarett & Doull's. Toxicology. The basic science of poisons (9th edition). Ed.McGraw Hill 

Cantelli Forti, Galli, Hrelia, Marinovich. Tossicologia molecolare e cellulare. Ed. UTET.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

ERNESTO FEDELE (President)

TULLIO FLORIO (President)

ALESSANDRO CORSARO

MASSIMO GRILLI

LESSONS

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

The integrated course of  Pharmacology and Toxicology involves an oral exam on the topics covered in the course.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

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.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
15/02/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Good health and well being
Good health and well being