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Lab Overview


By definition, a Pathology Laboratory is a structure of human and technical resources that addresses four components of disease: the aetiology, the pathogenesis, the structural alterations of organs, tissues and cells and the consequences of the changes produced in an organism that may or may not cause its death.

In Veterinary Medicine the object of the work of the pathologists is very variable, from mammals, to birds, fish, or even invertebrates. In the mammals group many species can be dwelt with, from the large bovine and horses, to the minute lab mouse, including all sorts of median size cats and dogs, and zoological or exotic species.

As far as research is concerned, the Pathology Lab/Team should be seen as a platform were the most common activities can be summarized as follows:

  • Diagnosis for internal and external clients, with the major client being the Small Animal Hospital of the Faculty. This part of the activity, going on for more than three decades, provides the large experience this Lab/Team can claim as major asset.
  • Teaching of undergraduates and postgraduates (residents).The Pathology Lab/Team is registered as “Qualified for Residency Programs” by the European College of Veterinary Pathology, since 2000.
  • Support to various research projects internal and external. This support is materialized by processing samples for histological observation; performing immunohistochemistry and histochemistry techniques; providing in most cases the adequate reports and registering the results by microphotography.
  • Finally, and most importantly, developing research projects of its own (see Highlights in the period).



Projects of variable nature have been developed in the period 2013-2017, in the following areas:


  • Oncology and oncological markers for diagnosis and treatment. This subject has been primarily dealing with canine and feline mammary tumors, pursuing markers that are thought to be useful for the establishment of accurate prognosis and more efficient treatments. Other tumors have also been studied such as canine oral tumors and tumor growth in genetically modified mice.
  • Mammalian and avian pathogenesis of infectious and toxic diseases. This subject has been particularly active in the study of the new variant of the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus.
  • Stem cells differentiation and use. The study of the fate and effect of the application of stem cells in the evolution of necrotic lesions as the ones induced by myocardial infarction are part of an important partnership, including the MIT. Other projects have also been developed involving stem cells in bioscaffolds.
  • Retinal changes associated with disease and ageing. This work has been done in close cooperation with CBATEG (Centre de Biotecnologia Animal i de Teràpia Gènica), Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain.
  • Quantitative and semi-quantitative histology. Projects on antimicrobial effect of feeds in animal production have been achieved in collaboration with researchers from the Institute of Agronomy (ULisboa), using image analysis tools.
  • Projects have been performed in collaboration with various research institutions involving the sanitary monitorization of bivalves in Portugal.


Selected publications



López-Luppo, M., Nacher, V., Ramos, D., Catita, J., Navarro, M., Carretero, A., Rodriguez-Baeza, A., Mendes-Jorge, L., Ruberte, J. (2017). Blood Vessel Basement Membrane Alterations in Human Retinal Microaneurysms During Aging.J. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci; 58(2):1116-1131.  

Lisa A. Mestrinho, Hugo Pissarra, Sandra Carvalho, Maria C. Peleteiro, Jerzy Gawor and Maria M. R. E. Niza (2017). Comparison of Histological and Proliferation Features of Canine Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Based on Intraoral Location: 36 Cases. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, Vol. 34(2) 92-99

Gil da Costa, R. M., Peleteiro, M. C., Pires, M. A., DiMaio, D. (2017). An Update on Canine, Feline and Bovine Papillomaviruses. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 64(5):1371-1379.

Soares, M., Ribeiro, R., Najmudin, S., Gameiro, A., Rodrigues, R., Cardoso, F. & Ferreira, F. (2016). Serum HER2 levels are increased in cats with mammary carcinomas and predict tissue HER2 status. Oncotarget, 7(14):17314-26.

Soares, M., Madeira, S., Correia, J., Peleteiro, M., Cardoso, F. & Ferreira, F. (2016). Molecular based subtyping of feline mammary carcinomas and clinicopathological characterization. The Breast Journal, 27, 44-51.  

Neves Simões, I., Vale, P., Soker, S., Atala, A., Keller, D., Noiva, R., Carvalho, S., Peleteiro, C., Cabral, J., Eberli, D., Lobato da Silva, C., Batista, P. (2016). Acellular Urethra Bioscaffold: Decellularization of Whole Urethras for Tissue Engineering Applications. Scientific Reports, 6, 7: 41934.   

Lopes, A.M., Correia, J., Abrantes, J., Melo, P., Ramada, M., Magalhães, M.J., Alves, P.C. & Esteves, P.J. (2015). Is the New Variant RHDV Replacing Genogroup 1 in Portuguese Wild Rabbit Populations? Viruses, 7, 27-36.   

Pedrosa, A-R., Trindade, A., Carvalho, C., Graça, J., Carvalho, S., Peleteiro, M.C., Adams, R.H., Duarte, A. (2015). Endothelial Jagged1 promotes solid tumor growth through both pro-angiogenic and angiocrine functions. Oncotarget, 6(27):24404-23.  

Djokovic, D., Trindade, A., Gigante, J., Pinho, M., Harris, A.L., Duarte, A. (2015). Moderate Dll4/Notch Signaling Inhibition Promotes Productive Angiogenesis and Growth of Skin Papillomas. BMC Cancer, 15:608-616.

Mendes-Jorge, L., Ramos, D., Valença, A., López-Luppo, M., Pires, V.M., Catita, J., Nacher, V., Navarro, M., Carretero, A., Rodriguez-Baeza, A., Ruberte, J. (2014). L-ferritin binding to scara5: a new iron traffic pathway potentially implicated in retinopathy.PLoS One. 26;9(9):e106974.