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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2010 Jun;13(3):377-81. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2010.04.003. Epub 2010 May 10.

Boolean models of within-host immune interactions.

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Department of Physics and Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


The role of various immune cells and intra-cellular components involved in immune responses has been elucidated. We describe how this information can be assembled in the form of causal interaction networks and how the dynamics of these networks can be described by qualitative/semi-qualitative modeling methods even in the absence of knowledge about kinetic constants. Recent models analyze signaling induced by the epidermal growth factor, the stimuli leading to pathological conditions, pathogen induced cellular interactions, and the intra-cellular and cellular signaling involved in the regulation of T cell responses. The models make testable predictions regarding yet undetected interactions, process durations and strengths, and novel therapeutic targets, several of which have been experimentally validated.

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