Download the Free Unbound MEDLINE PubMed App to your smartphone or tablet.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android.
Theoretical biology medical modelling [journal]
- Investigation of the essential role of platelet-tumor cell interactions in metastasis progression using an agent-based model. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014 Apr 12; 11(1):17.
Metastatic tumors are a major source of morbidity and mortality for most cancers. Interaction of circulating tumor cells with endothelium, platelets and neutrophils play an important role in the early stages of metastasis formation. These complex dynamics have proven difficult to study in experimental models. Prior computational models of metastases have focused on tumor cell growth in a host environment, or prediction of metastasis formation from clinical data. We used agent-based modeling (ABM) to dynamically represent hypotheses of essential steps involved in circulating tumor cell adhesion and interaction with other circulating cells, examine their functional constraints, and predict effects of inhibiting specific mechanisms.We developed an ABM of Early Metastasis (ABMEM), a descriptive semi-mechanistic model that replicates experimentally observed behaviors of populations of circulating tumor cells, neutrophils, platelets and endothelial cells while incorporating representations of known surface receptor, autocrine and paracrine interactions. Essential downstream cellular processes were incorporated to simulate activation in response to stimuli, and calibrated with experimental data. The ABMEM was used to idenpngy potential points of interdiction through examination of dynamic outcomes such as rate of tumor cell binding after inhibition of specific platelet or tumor receptors.The ABMEM reproduced experimental data concerning neutrophil rolling over endothelial cells, inflammation-induced binding between neutrophils and platelets, and tumor cell interactions with these cells. Simulated platelet inhibition with anti-platelet drugs produced unstable aggregates with frequent detachment and re-binding. The ABMEM replicates findings from experimental models of circulating tumor cell adhesion, and suggests platelets play a critical role in this pre-requisite for metastasis formation. Similar effects were observed with inhibition of tumor integrin alphaV/beta3. These findings suggest that anti-platelet or anti-integrin therapies may decrease metastasis by preventing stable circulating tumor cell adhesion.Circulating tumor cell adhesion is a complex, dynamic process involving multiple cell-cell interactions. The ABMEM successfully captures the essential interactions necessary for this process, and allows for in-silico iterative characterization and invalidation of proposed hypotheses regarding this process in conjunction with in-vitro and in-vivo models. Our results suggest that anti-platelet therapies and anti-integrin therapies may play a promising role in inhibiting metastasis formation.
- Cosinor-based rhythmometry. [Journal Article]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014; 11(1):16.
A brief overview is provided of cosinor-based techniques for the analysis of time series in chronobiology. Conceived as a regression problem, the method is applicable to non-equidistant data, a major advantage. Another dividend is the feasibility of deriving confidence intervals for parameters of rhythmic components of known periods, readily drawn from the least squares procedure, stressing the importance of prior (external) information. Originally developed for the analysis of short and sparse data series, the extended cosinor has been further developed for the analysis of long time series, focusing both on rhythm detection and parameter estimation. Attention is given to the assumptions underlying the use of the cosinor and ways to determine whether they are satisfied. In particular, ways of dealing with non-stationary data are presented. Examples illustrate the use of the different cosinor-based methods, extending their application from the study of circadian rhythms to the mapping of broad time structures (chronomes).
- Computing limits on medicine risks based on collections of individual case reports. [Journal Article]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014; 11(1):15.
Quantifying a medicine's risks for adverse effects is crucial in assessing its value as a therapeutic agent. Rare adverse effects are often not detected until after the medicine is marketed and used in large and heterogeneous patient populations, and risk quantification is even more difficult. While individual case reports of suspected harm from medicines are instrumental in the detection of previously unknown adverse effects, they are currently not used for risk quantification. The aim of this article is to demonstrate how and when limits on medicine risks can be computed from collections of individual case reports.We propose a model where drug exposures in the real world may be followed by adverse episodes, each containing one or several adverse effects. Any adverse episode can be reported at most once, and each report corresponds to a single adverse episode. Based on this model, we derive upper and lower limits for the per-exposure risk of an adverse effect for a given drug.An upper limit for the per-exposure risk of the adverse effect Y for a given drug X is provided by the reporting ratio of X together with Y relative to all reports on X, under two assumptions: (i) the average number of adverse episodes following exposure to X is one or less; and (ii) adverse episodes that follow X and contain Y are more frequently reported than adverse episodes in general that follow X. Further, a lower risk limit is provided by dividing the number of reports on X together with Y by the total number of exposures to X, under the assumption that exposures to X that are followed by Y generate on average at most one report on X together with Y. Using real data, limits for the narcolepsy risk following Pandemrix vaccination and the risk of coeliac disease following antihypertensive treatment were computed and found to conform to reference risk values from epidemiological studies.Our framework enables quantification of medicine risks in situations where this is otherwise difficult or impossible. It has wide applicability, but should be particularly useful in structured benefit-risk assessments that include rare adverse effects.
- The role of the entorhinal cortex in epileptiform activities of the hippocampus. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014.:14.
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the commonest type of epilepsy in adults, and the hippocampus is indicated to have a close relationship with TLE. Recent researches also indicate that the entorhinal cortex (EC) is involved in epilepsy. To explore the essential role that the EC may play in epilepsy, a computational model of the hippocampal CA3 region was built, which consisted of pyramidal cells and two types of interneurons. By changing the input signals from the EC, the effects of EC on epileptiform activities of the hippocampus were investigated. Additionally, recent studies have found that the antiepileptic drug valproate (VPA) can block ictal discharges but cannot block interictal discharges in vitro, and the mechanism under this phenomenon is still confusing. In our model, the effects of VPA on epileptiform activities were simulated and some mechanisms were explored.Interictal discharges were induced in the model without the input signals from the EC, whereas the model with the EC input produced ictal discharges when the EC input contained ictal discharges. The GABA-ergic connection strength was enhanced and the NMDA-ergic connection strength was reduced to simulate the effects of VPA, and the simulation results showed that the disappearance of ictal discharges in the model mainly due to the disappearance of ictal discharges in the input signals from the EC.Simulation results showed that ictal discharges in the EC were necessary for the hippocampus to generate ictal discharges, and VPA might block the ictal discharges in the EC, which led to the disappearance of ictal discharges in the hippocampus.
- Mathematically optimized cryoprotectant equilibration procedures for cryopreservation of human oocytes. [Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014.:13.
Simple and effective cryopreservation of human oocytes would have an enormous impact on the financial and ethical constraints of human assisted reproduction. Recently, studies have demonstrated the potential for cryopreservation in an ice-free glassy state by equilibrating oocytes with high concentrations of cryoprotectants (CPAs) and rapidly cooling to liquid nitrogen temperatures. A major difficulty with this approach is that the high concentrations required for the avoidance of crystal formation (vitrification) also increase the risk of osmotic and toxic damage. We recently described a mathematical optimization approach for designing CPA equilibration procedures that avoid osmotic damage and minimize toxicity, and we presented optimized procedures for human oocytes involving continuous changes in solution composition.Here we adapt and refine our previous algorithm to predict piecewise-constant changes in extracellular solution concentrations in order to make the predicted procedures easier to implement. Importantly, we investigate the effects of using alternate equilibration endpoints on predicted protocol toxicity. Finally, we compare the resulting procedures to previously described experimental methods, as well as mathematically optimized procedures involving continuous changes in solution composition.For equilibration with CPA, our algorithm predicts an optimal first step consisting of exposure to a solution containing only water and CPA. This is predicted to cause the cells to initially shrink and then swell to the maximum cell volume limit. To reach the target intracellular CPA concentration, the cells are then induced to shrink to the minimum cell volume limit by exposure to a high CPA concentration. For post-thaw equilibration to remove CPA, the optimal procedures involve exposure to CPA-free solutions that are predicted to cause swelling to the maximum volume limit. The toxicity associated with these procedures is predicted to be much less than that of conventional procedures and comparable to that of the corresponding procedures with continuous changes in solution composition.The piecewise-constant procedures described in this study are experimentally facile and are predicted to be less toxic than conventional procedures for human oocyte cryopreservation. Moreover, the mathematical optimization approach described here will facilitate the design of cryopreservation procedures for other cell types.
- Chromosome congression explained by nanoscale electrostatics. [Editorial]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014.:12.
Nanoscale electrostatic microtubule disassembly forces between positively charged molecules in kinetochores and negative charges on plus ends of microtubules have been implicated in poleward chromosome motions and may also contribute to antipoleward chromosome movements. We propose that chromosome congression can be understood in terms of antipoleward nanoscale electrostatic microtubule assembly forces between negatively charged microtubule plus ends and like-charged chromosome arms, acting in conjunction with poleward microtubule disassembly forces. Several other aspects of post-attachment prometaphase chromosome motions, as well as metaphase oscillations, are consistently explained within this framework.
- Modelling effects of internalized antibody: a simple comparative study. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014.:11.
The modelling framework is proposed to study protection properties of antibodies to neutralize the effects of the plant toxin (ricin). The present study extends our previous work by including (i) the model of intracellular transport of toxin to the Endoplasmic Reticulum and (ii) the model of the internalised antibodies (when antibody is delivered directly into the cytosol).Simulation of the receptor-toxin-antibody interaction is implemented by solving the systems of PDEs (advection-diffusion models) or ODEs (rate models) for the underlying transport coupled with mass-action kinetics.As the main application of the enhanced framework we present a comparative study of two kinds (external and internalised) of antibodies. This comparison is based on calculation of the non-dimensional protection factor using the same set of parameters (geometry, binding constants, initial concentrations of species, and total initial amount of the antibody).This research will provide a framework for consistent evaluation and comparison of different types of antibodies for toxicological applications.
- A vector-free ECG interpretation with P, QRS & T waves as unbalanced transitions between stable configurations of the heart electric field during P-R, S-T & T-P segments. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014.:10.
Since cell membranes are weak sources of electrostatic fields, this ECG interpretation relies on the analogy between cells and electrets. It is here assumed that cell-bound electric fields unite, reach the body surface and the surrounding space and form the thoracic electric field that consists from two concentric structures: the thoracic wall and the heart. If ECG leads measure differences in electric potentials between skin electrodes, they give scalar values that define position of the electric field center along each lead. Repolarised heart muscle acts as a stable positive electric source, while depolarized heart muscle produces much weaker negative electric field. During T-P, P-R and S-T segments electric field is stable, only subtle changes are detectable by skin electrodes.Diastolic electric field forms after ventricular depolarization (T-P segments in the ECG recording). Telediastolic electric field forms after the atria have been depolarized (P-Q segments in the ECG recording). Systolic electric field forms after the ventricular depolarization (S-T segments in the ECG recording). The three ECG waves (P, QRS and T) can then be described as unbalanced transitions of the heart electric field from one stable configuration to the next and in that process the electric field center is temporarily displaced. In the initial phase of QRS, the rapidly diminishing septal electric field makes measured potentials dependent only on positive charges of the corresponding parts of the left and the right heart that lie within the lead axes. If more positive charges are near the "DOWN" electrode than near the "UP" electrode, a Q wave will be seen, otherwise an R wave is expected. Repolarization of the ventricular muscle is dampened by the early septal muscle repolarization that reduces deflection of T waves. Since the "UP" electrode of most leads is near the usually larger left ventricle muscle, T waves are in these leads positive, although of smaller amplitude and longer duration than the QRS wave in the same lead. The proposed interpretation is applied to bundle branch blocks, fascicular (hemi-) blocks and changes during heart muscle ischemia.
- Optimization and enhancement of H&E stained microscopical images by applying bilinear interpolation method on lab color mode. [Journal Article]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014.:9.
Hematoxylin & Eosin (H&E) is a widely employed technique in pathology and histology to distinguish nuclei and cytoplasm in tissues by staining them in different colors. This procedure helps to ease the diagnosis by enhancing contrast through digital microscopes. However, microscopic digital images obtained from this technique usually suffer from uneven lighting, i.e. poor Koehler illumination. Several off-the-shelf methods particularly established to correct this problem along with some popular general commercial tools have been examined to find out a robust solution.First, the characteristics of uneven lighting in pathological images obtained from the H&E technique are revealed, and then how the quality of these images can be improved by employing bilinear interpolation based approach applied on the channels of Lab color mode is explored without losing any essential detail, especially for the color information of nuclei (hematoxylin stained sections). Second, an approach to enhance the nuclei details that are a fundamental part of diagnosis and crucially needed by the pathologists who work with digital images is demonstrated.Merits of the proposed methodology are substantiated on sample microscopic images. The results show that the proposed methodology not only remedies the deficiencies of H&E microscopical images, but also enhances delicate details.Non-uniform illumination problems in H&E microscopical images can be corrected without compromising crucial details that are essential for revealing the features of tissue samples.
- How robust are the natural history parameters used in chlamydia transmission dynamic models? A systematic review. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2014.:8.
Transmission dynamic models linked to economic analyses often form part of the decision making process when introducing new chlamydia screening interventions. Outputs from these transmission dynamic models can vary depending on the values of the parameters used to describe the infection. Therefore these values can have an important influence on policy and resource allocation. The risk of progression from infection to pelvic inflammatory disease has been extensively studied but the parameters which govern the transmission dynamics are frequently neglected. We conducted a systematic review of transmission dynamic models linked to economic analyses of chlamydia screening interventions to critically assess the source and variability of the proportion of infections that are asymptomatic, the duration of infection and the transmission probability. We identified nine relevant studies in Pubmed, Embase and the Cochrane database. We found that there is a wide variation in their natural history parameters, including an absolute difference in the proportion of asymptomatic infections of 25% in women and 75% in men, a six-fold difference in the duration of asymptomatic infection and a four-fold difference in the per act transmission probability. We consider that much of this variation can be explained by a lack of consensus in the literature. We found that a significant proportion of parameter values were referenced back to the early chlamydia literature, before the introduction of nucleic acid modes of diagnosis and the widespread testing of asymptomatic individuals. In conclusion, authors should use high quality contemporary evidence to inform their parameter values, clearly document their assumptions and make appropriate use of sensitivity analysis. This will help to make models more transparent and increase their utility to policy makers.