SMS scnews item created by Martin Wechselberger at Fri 10 Oct 2008 0849
Type: Seminar
Distribution: World
Expiry: 15 Oct 2008
Calendar1: 15 Oct 2008 1405-1455
CalLoc1: Eastern Avenue Lecture Theatre

Applied Maths Seminar: Mehr -- Elucidating lymphocyte development using BrdU labeling and mathematical models

The immune response involves cells of various types, including B, T and NK lymphocytes
expressing a large diversity of receptors which recognize foreign antigens and
self-molecules.  The various cell types interact through a complicated network of
communication, regulation and control mechanisms.  This is what enables the immune
system to perform the functions of danger recognition, decision, action, memory and
learning.  As a result, the dynamics of immune cell repertoires, in particular their
development, are highly complex and non-linear.  Understanding the population dynamics
which underlie lymphocyte development is essential for elucidating the causes of various
immune dysfunctions and cancers.  We have addressed this issue by combining mathematical
modeling of cell population dynamics with experimental data, including BrdU labeling.
These studies revealed unexpected feedback mechanisms in T cell development (Immunol.
Today 1997, 18:581-585), phenotypic reflux in B cell development (Mehr et al, Int’l
Immunol.  2003, 15:301-312; Gorfine et al, Bull.  Math.  Biol.  2003, 65:1131-1139),
selection checkpoints in transitional B cells (Shahaf et al, Int’l Immunol.  2004,
16:1081-1090 and work in progress) and the reasons for decreased production of T cells
(Mehr et al, Mech.  Age.  Develop., 1993, 67:159-172; AGING: Immunology and Infectious
Disease, 1996, 6:133-140) and B cells (Shahaf et al, Int’l Immunol.  2006, 18:31-39) in
aging.  We found that in aging animals, the carrying capacity of the Pre-B compartment,
and the probability of cell cycle reentry in this compartment, are reduced, while the
numbers of static B cells in the immature compartment increase.