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A preliminary mathematical model of skin dendritic cell trafficking and induction of T cell immunity

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  • Chronic inflammation is a process where dendritic cells (DCs) are constantly sampling antigen in the skin and migrating to lymph nodes where they induce the activation and proliferation of T cells. The T cells then travel back to the skin where they release cytokines that induce/maintain the inflammatory condition. This process is cyclic and ongoing. We created a differential equations model to reflect the initial stages of the inflammatory process. In particular, we modeled antigen stimulation of DCs in the skin, movement of DCs from the skin to a lymph node, and the subsequent activation of T cells in the lymph node. The model was able to simulate DC and T cell responses to antigen introduction taking place within realistic time scales. The goal of such a preliminary model is simply to be able to capture biologically realistic dynamics. Future models can then build on this preliminary model in directions that can potentially allow not only for model validation, but for predictions and hypothesis testing.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 92C50; Secondary: 92B05.


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