Mathematical Modeling of Th1-Th2 Dynamics

  • Benoit F. Morel
  • Jayant Kalagnanam
  • Penelope A. Morel
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 66)


One of the main functions of the immune system is the recognition and removal of foreign antigens. The first specific recognition of invading antigens is carried out by antigen-specific T lymphocytes. T cells are activated following the recognition of antigenic peptides that are bound in a cleft on molecules of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) (Zinkernagel and Doherty, 1974; Fathman and Frelinger, 1983; Davis and Bjorkman,1988). MHC molecules are highly polymorphic cell surface glycoproteins that occur in two distinct forms: class I MHC molecules (H-2K,D,L in mice and HLA-A,B,C in humans) and class II MHC molecules (H2-I in mice and HLA-D in humans) (Hood et al,1983). Class I MHC molecules are expressed on almost all cells of the body, bind peptides derived from endogenous proteins and are recognized by T cells bearing the CD8 marker; these T cells are in general cytotoxic T cells (CTLs). Class II MHC molecules are primarily expressed on macrophages, dendritic cells, B cells and thymic epithelium, bind peptides derived from exogenous antigens and are recognized by T cells bearing the CD4 marker; these T cells are in general helper T cells (Th) (Swain, 1983). Activation of Th cells results in morphologic changes (blastogenesis) at about 12 hours, cell division by 24–48 hours and differentiation as up to 70 genes are sequentially activated for several days (Crabtree,1989). During this process a wide variety of lymphokines are secreted. These include the T cell growth factors IL-2, IL-4 and IL-7, the macrophage activator IFN-γ, and the B cell activators IL-4, IL-5 and IL-6 (Kurt- Jones et al, 1987; Mosmann et al, 1987). These lymphokines, and many others are responsible for the activation and differentiation of cells important in the immune response.


Cell Clone Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule Influence Diagram Lymphokine Secretion Cell Growth Factor Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benoit F. Morel
    • 1
  • Jayant Kalagnanam
    • 1
  • Penelope A. Morel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Engineering and Public PolicyCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Pittsburgh Cancer InstitutePitsburghUSA

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