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Review

Modeling the Dynamics of T-Cell Development in the Thymus

1
Department of Immunology, University of Oslo, 0372 Oslo, Norway
2
Institute for Molecular Medicine, Goethe University, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Haralambos Hatzikirou
Entropy 2021, 23(4), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/e23040437
Received: 15 January 2021 / Revised: 1 April 2021 / Accepted: 5 April 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
The thymus hosts the development of a specific type of adaptive immune cells called T cells. T cells orchestrate the adaptive immune response through recognition of antigen by the highly variable T-cell receptor (TCR). T-cell development is a tightly coordinated process comprising lineage commitment, somatic recombination of Tcr gene loci and selection for functional, but non-self-reactive TCRs, all interspersed with massive proliferation and cell death. Thus, the thymus produces a pool of T cells throughout life capable of responding to virtually any exogenous attack while preserving the body through self-tolerance. The thymus has been of considerable interest to both immunologists and theoretical biologists due to its multi-scale quantitative properties, bridging molecular binding, population dynamics and polyclonal repertoire specificity. Here, we review experimental strategies aimed at revealing quantitative and dynamic properties of T-cell development and how they have been implemented in mathematical modeling strategies that were reported to help understand the flexible dynamics of the highly dividing and dying thymic cell populations. Furthermore, we summarize the current challenges to estimating in vivo cellular dynamics and to reaching a next-generation multi-scale picture of T-cell development. View Full-Text
Keywords: thymic selection; T-cell development; T-cell receptor (TCR); mathematical modeling; multi-scale models; complex systems; ordinary differential equations (ODE); agent-based models thymic selection; T-cell development; T-cell receptor (TCR); mathematical modeling; multi-scale models; complex systems; ordinary differential equations (ODE); agent-based models
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MDPI and ACS Style

Robert, P.A.; Kunze-Schumacher, H.; Greiff, V.; Krueger, A. Modeling the Dynamics of T-Cell Development in the Thymus. Entropy 2021, 23, 437. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23040437

AMA Style

Robert PA, Kunze-Schumacher H, Greiff V, Krueger A. Modeling the Dynamics of T-Cell Development in the Thymus. Entropy. 2021; 23(4):437. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23040437

Chicago/Turabian Style

Robert, Philippe A., Heike Kunze-Schumacher, Victor Greiff, and Andreas Krueger. 2021. "Modeling the Dynamics of T-Cell Development in the Thymus" Entropy 23, no. 4: 437. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23040437

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