Integrative Computational Modeling of the Lymph Node Stromal Cell Landscape
Journal Paper/Review - Oct 23, 2018
Novkovic Mario, Onder Lucas, Cheng Hung-Wei, Bocharov Gennady, Ludewig Burkhard
Adaptive immune responses develop in secondary lymphoid organs such as lymph nodes (LNs) in a well-coordinated series of interactions between migrating immune cells and resident stromal cells. Although many processes that occur in LNs are well understood from an immunological point of view, our understanding of the fundamental organization and mechanisms that drive these processes is still incomplete. The aim of systems biology approaches is to unravel the complexity of biological systems and describe emergent properties that arise from interactions between individual constituents of the system. The immune system is greater than the sum of its parts, as is the case with any sufficiently complex system. Here, we review recent work and developments of computational LN models with focus on the structure and organization of the stromal cells. We explore various mathematical studies of intranodal T cell motility and migration, their interactions with the LN-resident stromal cells, and computational models of functional chemokine gradient fields and lymph flow dynamics. Lastly, we discuss briefly the importance of hybrid and multi-scale modeling approaches in immunology and the technical challenges involved.