Seminar, 15 January 2013, S. Binder

15 January, 16:15
Carl-Zeiss-Str. 3, seminar room 127

The immune reaction on the signaling level: A dynamic model of the cytokine response to influenza infections

Sebastian Binder (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Systems Immunology, Braunschweig)

Cytokines are one of the major regulatory components in immunological processes. Observing a specific cytokine response to an infection allows to draw conclusions about the activity of different branches of the immune system. However, theoretical models of viral infections have traditionally focused on cell populations, and cytokine dynamics are rarely included in greater detail. The proposed model, in contrast, focuses on a detailed description of the immune response on the level of cytokine signals while underlying cellular processes like differentiation and proliferation of lymphocytes are not explicitly included. A phenomenological description of interactions between cytokines is used to model the effects of a hand-picked subset of cytokines. Data derived from a unique experimental system for analyzing cytokine interactions allows a calibration of the model and the selection of critical model parameters. Apart from the immediate use in understanding the immune response to influenza infections, potential applications of the cytokine model include the analysis of pathways to autoimmunity, optimizing vaccination agents or elucidating ageing-related changes in the immune system.