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Pathophysiology of organ and tissue fibrosis


Academic year 2019/2020

Prof. Maurizio Parola (Titolare del corso)
Degree course
Ciclo XXXV
Teaching period
Da definire
Altre attività
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
MED/04 - patologia generale
A distanza

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

The aim of the initiative is to offer to PhD students major and up-to-date information on basic as well as clinically relevant issues related to the emerging problem represented by organ/tissue fibrosis, which is now recognized as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

The Teaching of “Pathophysiology of organ and tissue fibrosis” will offer a contribution to the realization of the objectives of the PhD course in Experimental Medicine and Therapy.     Teaching provides the tools that enable PhD students to acquire appropriate knowledge on basic mechanisms underlying the progression of chronic disease and to integrate this knowledge with relevant aspects of specific human pathological conditions; (ii) appropriate knowledge of the aetiological causes and the main mechanisms underlying organ and tissue fibrosis; (iii) appropriate knowledge on the morphological and organ specific patterns of fibrosis; iv) appropriate knowledge on major animal models of organ fibrosis and their correspondence to human diseases; v) appropriate knowledge on major and organ related clinical issues. 


Course delivery

Lecturing by selected experts in the field integrated by open discussion and analysis of suggested reading. 


Learning assessment methods

Learning assessment will be performed by a ECM-like approach, with PhD students asked to respond to organ/tissue fibrosis – related specific questions  by filling out a multiple choice questionnaire. 



Program of the activity

According to the overall health impact on the general population the proposed activity is designed to offer up-to-date information on the problem “organ and tissue fibrosis”.  The activity will be structured in a number of lectures dedicated to the following major topics pertinent to organ fibrosis:

Basic mechanisms

An introductory session will be dedicated to;

  • Major and common basic mechanisms, mediators, signaling pathways and cells involved;
  • Macrophages and myofibroblasts as key cells in fibrogenic progression

Organ/tissue fibrosis in defined organs

This second session will be dedicated to emerging organ/tissue specific pathophysiological issues including etiological causes, morphological patterns of fibrosis, peculiar mechanisms, relevant animal models, pathogenetic targets and major organ-related clinical issues.  This part will be dedicated to:

  • Lung fibrosis (Prof. G. Lungarella, University of Siena)
  • Kidney fibrosis (Dr. Stefania Bruno, University of Torino)
  • Liver fibrosis (Prof. M. Parola, University of Torino)
  • Cardiac fibrosis (not yet agreed) 

Suggested readings and bibliography


  1. Weiskirchen R et al. Organ and tissue fibrosis: molecular signals, cellular mechanisms and translational implications. Mol Asp Med 2019, 65:2-15. 
  2. Djudjai S. Boor P. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of kidney fibrosis. Mol Asp Med 2019, 65:16-36.
  3. Parola M, Pinzani M. Liver fibrosis: pathophysiology, pathogenetic targets and clinical issues. Mol Asp Med 2019, 65:37-55.
  4. Chanda D et al. Developmental pathways in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis. Mol Asp Med 2019, 65:56-69.
  5. Frangogiannis N. Cardiac fibrosis: cell biological mechanisms, molecular pathways and therapeutic opportunities. Mol Asp Med 2019, 65:70-99.
  6. Pinzani and M. Parola. Special Issue on: "Pathophysiology of organ and tissue fibrosis". Mol. Aspects of Medicine 2019, 65:1-109




Organ fibrosis is a common pathological outcome of several etiological conditions resulting in chronic tissue injury and is usually defined as an excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) components,  leading with the time to scar tissue formation and eventually organ dysfunction and failure. The progressive architectural remodeling (i.e. fibrogenic progression) can be seen in nearly all tissues and organs and is recognized as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.  

Last update: 16/11/2023 10:12
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