The contents of this subject are divided into five thematic sections, blocks or units, containing 3-4 themes (lessons) each:
UNIT 1 (B1). Concepts. Molecules, cells and tissues of the immune system. Ontogeny.
Lesson 1 (T1).- Location of Immunology in time. Immunology definition. Basic concepts and general aspects. Innate immunity and acquired immunity. General properties of the immune system. Immune phylogeny.
Lesson 2 (T2).- Immune System Cells: structural and functional characteristics. Hematopoiesis. Lymphoid cells. Non-lymphoid lineage cells.
Lesson 3 (T3).- leukocyte differentiation markers: CD Nomenclature. T cells: molecular markers of differentiation and activation. B cells: molecular markers of differentiation and activation. NK cells: molecular markers of activation and differentiation. Molecular markers of differentiation in other cells of the immune system: macrophages, granulocytes, mast cells and platelets. Ontogeny of the immune system.
Lesson 4 (T4).- The lymphoid tissue: primary organs. Secondary organs. Lymphocyte recirculation
UNIT 2 (B2). Antibodies (Ab). B cell receptor gene rearrangement. Antigen (Ag). Ag-Ab reaction.
Lesson 5 (T5).- antigen receptors of B cells: Immunoglobulins. Isotypes, allotypes and idiotypes. General functions of immunoglobulins: primary and secondary immune response. Biological properties of different types of inmunogobulins: relationship between structure and function of the B cell receptor (BCR).
Lesson 6 (T6).- Genetics of immunoglobulins. Theories about the formation of antibodies. Immunoglobulin genes. Mechanism of genetic rearrangement. Importance of conserved sequences. Enzymes involved. Rearrangement process regulation. Signal sequence recombination (SSR). Isotype switching. Generation of diversity and affinity maturation of immunoglobulins. Synthesis of immunoglobulins: allelic exclusion phenomenon. Secreted immunoglobulins vs. membrane immunoglobulins.
Lesson 7 (T7).- Antigens: Definition and physicochemical characteristics. Immunogen, hapten, adjuvant, epitope/antigenic determinant. Immunogenicity. Mitogens. Superantigens. Antigen-antibody interaction: The spatial complementarity.
UNIT 3 (B3). Major histocompatibility complex (MHC). T-cell receptors. Phagocytic cells and NK cells receptors. Antigen presentation.
Lesson 8 (T8).- The Major Histocompatibility Complex: HLA/MHC system. Importance. Molecular structure and function. Structure, distribution and function of HLA class I and class II. Genetic organization and pattern of inheritance. Antigen processing. Nature of the processed peptide: intracellular vs. extracellular peptides.
Lesson 9 (T9).- T cell antigen receptor (TCR) structure. TCR structure and gene distribution. Rearrangement and gene regulation of TCR. Intrathymic selection: importance of αβ and γδ receptors in the recognition of self. Theory of clonal selection. Functions assigned to TCR-αβ type populations of T cells. CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. Functions assigned to TCR-γδ type populations of T cells.
Lesson 10 (T10).- Receptor types in granulocytes. Receptors types of cells of the monocyte/macrophage system. Types of NK cell receptors. Functions assigned to each of these leukocyte populations.
Lesson 11 (T11).- Presentation of antigen. Immunological synapse. Lymphocyte activation. The role of co-receptors and other accessory molecules. Biochemical cascade of lymphocyte activation. Second messengers. Protein phosphorylation. Transcription factors. Lymphocyte activation and differentiation of T helper and T cytotoxic (CTL), B and NK cells.
UNIT 4 (B4). Adhesion molecules. Complement system. Cytokines.
Lesson 12 (T12).- Adhesion molecules in the immune response. Classification: integrins, selectins, supergene family of immunoglobulins, cadherins, other molecules. General and specific functions of different families. Control of the expression of adhesion molecules in cells and tissues.
Lesson 13 (T13).- The Complement System. Beginning of activation: Classical, Alternative and lectins pathways. Complement protein biosynthesis. Biological functions of complement. Effector molecules. Complement-mediated cytotoxicity concept. Regulatory molecules. Cellular receptors for the complement. Genetics of Complement.
Lesson 14 (T14).- soluble mediators of immune responses (cytokines): chemical structure and cellular systems producing cytokines. Th1/ c1, Th2/Tc2, Th3 and Th17 cell patterns. Mechanisms of action of cytokines. Classification of cytokines. The pleiotropy of cytokines. Cellular receptors for cytokines. Brief mention of the use of cytokines and their antagonists in Clinics.
UNIT 5 (B5). Cellular immune response. Humoral immune response. Regulatory molecules and cells of the immune response. Regulatory mechanisms. Main immunological diseases.
Lesson 15 (T15).- Humoral immune response: cells and molecules involved. Cellular immune response: cells and molecules involved. Concepts: Cell Cytotoxicity. Antibody dependent cytotoxicity (ADCC).
Lesson 16 (T16).- Regulation of the immune response. Antigens as basic factors controlling the immune response. The feedback effect exerted by antibodies and immune complexes. Idiotypic interactions. Cytokines and regulatory cells. Neuroendocrine Modulation of the immune response. Other regulatory mechanisms: genetic, nutritional, pharmacological.
Lesson 17 (T17).- Hypersensitivity reactions. Definition. Gell and Coombs classification. Concepts: tolerance, autoimmunity and autoimmune disease.
Lesson 18 (T18).- immunodeficiencies. Concept. Classification. Diagnosis and treatment.
1. Separation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNc) by density gradient centrifugation.
2.- PBMNc cell count in Neubauer chambers. Cell viability. Visualization by light microscopy and phase contrast identification.
3. Separation of CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocyte populations by using immunospheres. Concept of positive and negative selection. Optical microscopy visualization of the labeled and unlabeled populations.
4.- Obtaining macrophages/ endritic cells from PBMNC, by plastic adherence technique. Viewing through the inverted microscope.
5. Direct and indirect immunofluorescence (IFI) techniques. Counting of T, B and NK lymphocyte subsets by fluorescence microscopy.
6. Phagocytic cells functional assay. Phagocytosis of Candida albicans.
7. Phagocytic cells functional assay. NBT-test.
8. Histology of primary and secondary lymphoid organs: thymus, spleen and lymph nodes. H & E staining.