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Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series B (DCDS-B)
 

Cell death and the maintenance of immunological memory

Pages: 43 - 59, Volume 1, Issue 1, February 2001

doi:10.3934/dcdsb.2001.1.43       Abstract        Full Text (279.1K)       Related Articles

Andrew Yates - Immunobiology Unit, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford St, London WC1N 1EH, United Kingdom (email)
Robin Callard - Immunobiology Unit, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford St, London WC1N 1EH, United Kingdom (email)

Abstract: Immunological memory is found in diverse populations of a class of lymphocytes called T cells, that are held at roughly constant numbers. Its composition is in continuous flux as we encounter new pathogens and cells are lost. The mechanisms which preserve the memory T cell population in the face of these uncertain factors are largely unknown. We propose a mechanism for homeostasis, driven by density-dependent cell death, that both fits experimental data and naturally preserves the clonal composition of the T cell pool with fluctuating cell numbers. It also provides clues as to the source of differences in diversity between T cell memory subpopulations.

Keywords:  Ordinary differential fquations, immunology, immunological memory, homeostasis.
Mathematics Subject Classification:  92B05, 34A34.

Revised: January 2001;      Published: January 2001.