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Airway exposure levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) determine type I versus type II helper T cell induced experimental asthma. While high LPS levels induce Th1-dominant responses, low LPS levels derive Th2 cell induced asthma. The present paper develops a mathematical model of asthma development which focuses on the relative balance of Th1 and Th2 cell induced asthma. In the present work we represent the complex network of interactions between cells and molecules by a mathematical model. The model describes the behaviors of cells (Th0, Th1, Th2 and macrophages) and regulatory molecules (IFN-$\gamma$, IL-4, IL-12, TNF-α) in response to high, intermediate, and low levels of LPS. The simulations show how variations in the levels of injected LPS affect the development of Th1 or Th2 cell responses through differential cytokine induction. The model also predicts the coexistence of these two types of response under certain biochemical and biomechanical conditions in the microenvironment.
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of brain cancer with the median survival time of one year. A particular microRNA, miR-451, and its counterpart, AMPK complex are known to play a key role in controlling a balance between rapid proliferation and aggressive invasion in response to metabolic stress in the microenvironment. The present paper develops a hybrid model of glioblastoma that identifies a key mechanism behind the molecular switches between proliferative phase and migratory phase in response to metabolic stress and biophysical interaction between cells. We focus on the core miR-451-AMPK control system and show how up- or down-regulation of components in these pathways affects cell proliferation and migration. The model predicts the larger window of bistable systems when there exists a time delay in the inhibitory pathway from CAB39/LKB1/STRAD/AMPK to miR-451. Delayed down-regulation of miR-451 along this pathway would let glioma cells stay longer in the proliferative stage despite relatively low glucose levels, making it a possible therapeutic target. Analysis of the model predicts the existence of a limit cycle with two time delays. We then study a hybrid model for the biomechanical interaction between invasive and proliferative cells, in which all cells are modeled individually, and show how biophysical properties of cells and core miR-451-AMPK control system affect the growth/invasion patterns of glioma spheroids in response to various glucose levels in the microenvironment. The model predicts that cell migration not only depends on glucose availability but also on mechanical constraints between cells. The model suggests that adhesion strength between cells plays an important role in cell shedding from the main core and the disruption of cell-cell adhesion is a pre-requisite for glioma cell invasion. The model also suggests that injection of glucose after surgery will increase visibility of individual migratory cells and the second surgery may eradicate the remaining cancer cells, preventing regrowth of the invisible migratory glioma cells.
It is well known that tumor microenvironment affects tumor growth and metastasis: Tumor cells may proliferate at different rates and migrate in different patterns depending on the microenvironment in which they are embedded. There is a huge literature that deals with mathematical models of tumor growth and proliferation, in both the avascular and vascular phases. In particular, a review of the literature of avascular tumor growth (up to 2006) can be found in Lolas  (G. Lolas, Lecture Notes in Mathematics, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, 1872, 77 (2006)). In this article we report on some of our recent work. We consider two aspects, proliferation and of migration, and describe mathematical models based on in vitro experiments. Simulations of the models are in agreement with experimental results. The models can be used to generate hypotheses regarding the development of drugs which will confine tumor growth.
In this paper we study 1 dimensional (1D) and 2D extended version of a two compartment model for tumor dormancy suggested by Boushaba et al. . The model is based on the idea that the vascularization of a secondary tumor can be suppressed by inhibitor originating from a larger primary tumor. It has been observed emergence of a polypoid melanoma at a site remote from a primary polypoid melanoma after excision of the latter. The authors observed no recurrence of the melanoma at the primary site, but did observe secondary tumors at secondary sites five to seven centimeters from the primary site within a period of one month after the excision of the primary site. 1D and 2D simulations show that when the tumors are sufficiently remote, the primary tumor will not influence the secondary tumors while, if they are too close together, the primary tumor can effectively prevent the growth of the secondary tumors, even after it is removed. The sensitivity analysis was carried out for the 1D model. It has been long observed that surgery should be followed by other treatment options such as chemotherapy. 2D simulation suggests a possible treatment options with different dosage schedule after a surgery in order to achieve better clinical outcome.
Hybrid models of tumor growth, in which some regions are described at the cell level and others at the continuum level, provide a flexible description that allows alterations of cell-level properties and detailed descriptions of the interaction with the tumor environment, yet retain the computational advantages of continuum models where appropriate. We review aspects of the general approach and discuss applications to breast cancer and glioblastoma.
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