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TU Dresden » Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering » Institute for Materials Science » Chair of Materials Science and Nanotechnology

» presentations   » 2001.06.25-30

Coevolution of lymphocytes and mutating antigen in shape space

 G. Cuniberti  and M. Or-Guil

1st International MTBio-Workshop on Function and Regulation of Cellular Systems: Experiments and Models

2001.06.25-30; Dresden, Germany

A model describing possible mechanisms with which antibody producing cells cope with a mutating virus has been developed. The two species involved are, namely, concentrations of antigen (specie a) and immune system cells involved in the recognition and elimination process (specie b). The coevolution of this two competing species is embedded in a space accounting for the the possible geometrical, and physical-chemical properties involved in the recognition and eliminations of pathogens [1]. Virus mutations, which correspond to movement in this space, activate movements of the ``b''-cell population via a finite range recognition length. The possible eimination of the virus is triggered by another finite range, elimination range. The fact that the antigen is allowed to proliferate, mutate (diffuse in the shape space) and be eliminated within a non vanishing elimination range implements the idea that fuzzy matching effectively intervenes in the elimination of the antigen, although with a reduced level of success. Depending on the virus mutation and replication rates the virus can be completely eliminated or take over and persist in the system.

[1] A. S. Perelson and G. F. Oster, J. Theor. Biol. 81, 645 (1979).

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