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Compulsory/Elective Code Semester Lectures Practicals Credits ECTS
Elective 13Β021 5th 3 Hrs/Wk 3 Hrs/Wk 4 5,5

The lectures of the course focus on the study of the structure and physiological function of the mammalian immune system, emphasizing on cellular and molecular mechanisms of innate immunity and specific/adaptive immunity. Mechanisms involved in the induction of immune system disorders related to diseases such as autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiencies and cancer, are also discussed. In the frame of the laboratory practicals, the student is trained in the principles and applications of both classical and modern immunological techniques. By combining theoretical education and laboratory practice on the main immunological techniques, at the end of the course, the student will acquire basic knowledge to understand the physiological functions and abnormalities of the immune system.


1. Understanding the structure and functions of the organs and cells of the immune system

2. Understanding the mechanisms of induction of immune responses by the innate and adaptive arms of immunity

3. The detailed presentation of the interactions between innate and adaptive immunity and the cellular/molecular mechanisms involved in these interactions

4. The description of immune system dysfunctions, their effects on the organism and therapeutic interventions used

5. Familiarization with and practice on the main in vitro immunological techniques, evaluation and critical analysis of their results

6. How to explore and use data provided in the international literature so that the student can better approach the new achievements in the field of Immunology.

Knowledge, skills and abilities: After successful attendance of the lectures and laboratory practicals, the student will be able to: a) comprehend the structure and functions of the organs and cellular components of the immune system, the two arms of immunity and their differences, b) understand the basic principles and the importance of physiological functioning of the immune system, c) distinguish the types of antigens and the mechanisms of recognition of "foreign" molecules, d) understand the interactions of cells and immune system components, e) comprehend the mechanisms of immune response and immune tolerance, f) acquaint means to enhance the immunity of an organism, eg by vaccination, and the differences of passive and active immunity, g) identify the various types of diseases associated with immune system dysfunctions and the basic ways of their therapeutic treatment, h) comprehend the principles and applications of immunological techniques used in research and/or professional immunological laboratories, for the diagnosis and treatment of immune-related diseases, so as to gradually enrich this knowledge at postgraduate level, i) to collaborate with his/her fellow students in the implementation of laboratory practicals that complement the afore mentioned learning objectives, to record, analyze, evaluate and present his/her results, j) develop the necessary skills for his/her future studies, gaining an important degree of autonomy, k) acquire a basic and modern knowledge background in Immunology so that he/she can eventually collaborate with specialists from relevant fields, such as doctors, pharmacists, chemists, veterinarians etc.


Properties of the Immune system-Antigens (2 hours)  -   Antigen-antibody interactions (2 hours)  -  Leukocyte circulation and migration (1 hour)  -  Innate immunity-The complement system (4 hours)  -  Organization and expression of B and T cell receptor genes (3 hours)  -  Major histocompatibility complex-Antigen processing and presentation (3 hours)  -  B and T cell maturation (2 hours)  -  Activation of B lymphocytes-Humoral immunity (2 hours)  -  Activation of T lymphocytes-Cell-mediated immunity (4 hours)  -  Cytokines (1 hour)  -  Immune response to infections-Vaccines (2 hours)  -  Central and peripheral tolerance-Autoimmune diseases (3 hours)  -  Transplantation Immunology (1 hour)  -  Hypersensitivity reactions-Allergies (3 hours)  -  Immune deficiencies-AIDS (3 hours)  -   Cancer and the Immune System-Cancer Immunotherapy protocols (3 hours)


1. Study of the organs and cells of the mammalian immune system - 2. Isolation of immunoglobulins class G (IgG) - 3. Isolation of immune cells - 4. Immunodiffusion-Immunoprecipitation-Immunoelectrophoresis - 5. Immunoassay ELISA - 6. Prediction of epitopes for B and T lymphocytes - 7. Hemagglutination-Haemolytic complement - 8. Flow cytometry - 9. Mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR)

  Lectures: Ourania Tsitsilonis, Professor of Immunology (Coordinator) - Panagiota Papazafiri, Associate Professor of Animal Physiology - Ioanna-Katerina Aggeli, Assistant Professor of Animal Physiology - Dr. Angeliki Fotinopoulou (Laboratory Teaching Staff)
  Practicals: Ourania Tsitsilonis, Professor of Immunology (Coordinator) - Panagiota Papazafiri, Associate Professor of Animal Physiology - Ioanna-Katerina Aggeli, Assistant Professor of Animal Physiology - Dr. Angeliki Fotinopoulou (Laboratory Teaching Staff) - Dr. Athina Marmari (Laboratory Teaching Staff) - Dr. Sevasti Papavassiliou (Laboratory Teaching Staff)

There are no prerequisites for the student to select and attend the course. However, in order to better follow and comprehend the course, background knowledge in Biochemistry (2nd Semester), Cell Biology (3rd Semester), Molecular Biology (3rd Semester) and Animal Physiology (3rd Semester) is needed.

The course is offered to Erasmus students: Teaching in Greek language - Exams in English language.

The evaluation process is carried out in Greek language (there is the possibility in English for Erasmus students), with a final examination of the whole course that includes: I. Written examination of the laboratory practicals with: a) Short-answer questions for assessing students' critical thinking in the methodologies of laboratory practicals, b) Questions for assessing their skills in the analysis and synthesis of data and information, c) Problem solving to evaluate their productive thinking and application of the knowledge acquired to solve research problems - II. Written examination of the course theory (lectures) with questions of graded difficulty including: a) Multiple choice questions, b) Short-answer questions of the theory, c) Questions requiring critical thinking, d) Problems and/or exercises based on the theoretical knowledge developed in the lectures.

The total grade derives: 70% from the written examination of the course theory (lectures), 22% from the written examination of the laboratory practicals and 8% from the reports of the laboratory practicals. A pass mark (5/10) in both examinations is required.

  If you require more information, please contact the Course Coordinator, Prof. Ourania Tsitsilonis at Tel: +30-210-727 4215, email: rtsitsil[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr