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Laboratory of structural and ultrastructural morphology  


Principal Investigator: Prof. Elena Bianca Donetti

Collaborators: Dr. Francesca Arnaboldi, Dr. Laura Cornaghi, Dr. Federica Landoni

The activity of the group is focused on the following research lines:

  • acute effects of proinflammatory cytokines involved in psoarias pathogenesis in a three-dimensional model of organotypic culture of normal human skin
  • chronic and acute effects induced by exogenous stimuli in a three-dimensional model of organotypic culture of normal human skin and oral mucosa
  • correlation between intercellular adhesion and cell differentiation in simple and stratified epithelia

figure 1


Considered parameters

  • intercellular adhesion (desmosomes, tight/adherens junctions)
  • cell proliferation

figure 2

  • cell differentiation in stratified squamous human epithelia
  • apoptosis

figure 3


light microscopy

- indirect immunofluorescence on cell culture and tissue sections (both frozen and paraffin embedded)

- digital microphotography and image analysis with an appropriate software

transmission electron microscopy


Partnership at Università degli Studi di Milano

Prof. Emanuela Corsini, Prof. Gaetano Cairo, Prof. Lorenza Tacchini, Dr. Anita Ferraretto, Dr. Laura Marabini, Dr. Giulia Chiesa, Prof. Giancarlo Aldini.

Partnership with other Universities and Research centers

Dr. Francesca Prignano, Università degli Studi di Firenze; Prof. Eugenio Bertelli, Università degli Studi di Siena; Prof. Sara Mantero, Politecnico di Milano; Prof. Patrizia Rovere Querini, Università Vita e Salute San Raffaele di Milano; Dr. W.F. Baruffaldi Preis (I.R.C.C.S Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi); Dr. Filippo Tempia, NICO – Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi di Torino


 Relevant publications

  1. Donetti E, Bedoni M, Boschini E, Bertelli AAE, Sforza C, Gagliano N. Early epidermal response after a single dose of gamma-rays in organotypic culture of human breast skin. Br J Dermatol. 2005; 153:881-886. I.F 3.33
  2. Bedoni M, Sforza C, Dolci C, Donetti E. Proliferation and differentiation biomarkers in normal human breast skin organotypic cultures. J Dermatol Sci; 2007; 46:139-142. I.F 2.64
  3. Donetti E, Cornaghi L, Gualerzi A, Baruffaldi Preis F, Prignano F. An innovative three-dimensional model of normal human skin to study the proinflammatory psoriatic effects of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-17. Cytokine; 2014; 68:1-8. I.F 2.52
  4. Prignano F, Arnaboldi F, Cornaghi L, Landoni F, Tripo L, Baruffaldi Preis FW, Donetti E. Tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-17 differently affects Langerhans cell distribution and activation in an innovative three-dimensional model of normal human skin. Eur J Cell Biol; 2015; 94:71-77. I.F 3.67
  5. Arnaboldi F, Busnelli M, Cornaghi L, Manzini S, Parolini C, Sirtori CR, Donetti E, Chiesa G. High-density lipoprotein deficiency in genetically modified mice deeply affects skin morphology: a structural and ultrastructural study. Experimental Cell Research. Exp Cell Res. 2015; in press I.F. 3.37.



2002: IInd Symposium: Cellular biology of stratified epithelia – from basic science to clinical applications
2006: III Symposium on Cellular biology of epithelia. Evento ECM 4512-260622.
2008: Eziologia, diagnosi e terapia della burning mouth syndrome. Evento ECM 4512-80311.
2011: IV Symposium on Cellular biology of epithelia.



2014: “Best poster Presentation award” at 41th Meeting SCUR (Society for Cutaneous Ultrastructure Research) - Frascati (IT) with the presentation “Effects of UVA and UVB radiations using an ex vivo human skin tissue model: morphological aspects and genotoxic evaluations” (Cornaghi L., Donetti E., Arnaboldi F., Marabini L., Calò R.).

2015: “Best oral Presentation award” at 42th Meeting SCUR (Society for Cutaneous Ultrastructure Research)- Mannheim (D)with the presentation “Thymol and Thymus Vulgaris L. extract: evaluation of protective effect on UVB-induced damage in an ex vivo human skin model" (Cornaghi L., Calò R., Landoni F., Arnaboldi F., Baruffaldi Preis F.W., Marabini L., Donetti E.).



2015: Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lombardia, (PI Prof. Elena Donetti). “Effetto di citochine proinfiammatorie della psoriasi su recettori specifici in un modello tridimensionale di cute”. Euro 20.000,00.



elena.donetti@unimi.it +3902503-15400, -15366
francesca.arnaboldi1@unimi.it +39025031-5365, -5361
laura.cornaghi@unimi.it +3902503-15363; - 15366





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