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Nat Commun. 2012 Feb 28;3:702. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1705.

Network physiology reveals relations between network topology and physiological function.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.

Abstract

The human organism is an integrated network where complex physiological systems, each with its own regulatory mechanisms, continuously interact, and where failure of one system can trigger a breakdown of the entire network. Identifying and quantifying dynamical networks of diverse systems with different types of interactions is a challenge. Here we develop a framework to probe interactions among diverse systems, and we identify a physiological network. We find that each physiological state is characterized by a specific network structure, demonstrating a robust interplay between network topology and function. Across physiological states, the network undergoes topological transitions associated with fast reorganization of physiological interactions on time scales of a few minutes, indicating high network flexibility in response to perturbations. The proposed system-wide integrative approach may facilitate the development of a new field, Network Physiology.

PMID:
22426223
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3518900
Free PMC Article
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