Artificial Life VI


Modeling Thymic Selection and Concomitant Immune Responses on CD4+ T Lymphocyte Sub-Populations

Artur Caetano
IST, Portugal

Antonio Grilo
IST, Portugal

Agostinho Rosa
Associate Professor, IST, Portugal


Abstract

The behavior and type of immune responses are currently believed to be the result of cross regulation of CD4+ T lymphocyte populations. Many debates have arisen concerning the way the immune system is able to provide an immune response and tolerate self simultaneously. Classical theories try to explain these phenomena through the specificity of T cell receptors. Nevertheless, observations show us that the specificity of the immune system cells can be quite degenerated, providing a different scope on the understanding of the immune system's balance. We propose an agent-based model for the dynamics of Th1 and Th2 CD4+ T lymphocyte sub-populations, aiming the study of diversity and multiple responses. Using this model we are able to identify some experimental observations which are poorly understood. Some of the results show us that the immune system's balance can be related to a measure of locality, helping to explain the paradigm of concomitant responses and toleran! ce.


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