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Mathematical modeling in autoimmune diseases: from theory to clinical application

Yaroslav Ugolkov, Antonina Nikitich, Cristina Leon,Gabriel Helmlinger, Kirill Peskov, Victor Sokolov, Alina Volkova, Front. Immunol. 2024, 15:1371620.doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2024.1371620

The research & development (R&D) of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of autoimmune diseases is challenged by highly complex pathogenesis and multiple etiologies of these conditions. The number of targeted therapies available on the market is limited, whereas the prevalence of autoimmune conditions in the global population continues to rise. Mathematical modeling of biological systems is an essential tool which may be applied in support of decision-making across R&D drug programs to improve the probability of success in the development of novel medicines. Over the past decades, multiple models of autoimmune diseases have been developed. Models differ in the spectra of quantitative data used in their development and mathematical methods, as well as in the level of “mechanistic granularity” chosen to describe the underlying biology. Yet, all models strive towards the same goal: to quantitatively describe various aspects of the immune response. The aim of this review was to conduct a systematic review and analysis of mathematical models of autoimmune diseases focused on the mechanistic description of the immune system, to consolidate existing quantitative knowledge on autoimmune processes, and to outline potential directions of interest for future model-based analyses. Following a systematic literature review, 38 models describing the onset, progression, and/or the effect of treatment in 13 systemic and organ-specific autoimmune conditions were identified, most models developed for inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and lupus (5 models each). ≥70% of the models were developed as nonlinear systems of ordinary differential equations, others – as partial differential equations, integro-differential equations, Boolean networks, or probabilistic models. Despite covering a relatively wide range of diseases, most models described the same components of the immune system, such as T-cell response, cytokine influence, or the involvement of macrophages in autoimmune processes. All models were thoroughly analyzed with an emphasis on assumptions, limitations, and their potential applications in the development of novel medicines.

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Monocyte subsets involved in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis

Sachiko Hirose 1Qingshun Lin 1Mareki Ohtsuji 1Hiroyuki Nishimura 1J Sjef Verbeek 1 , Int Immunol. 2019 Oct 16;31(11):687-696

AbstractMonocytes are evolutionally conserved innate immune cells that play essential roles for the protection of the host against pathogens and also produce several inflammatory cytokines. Thus, the aberrant functioning of monocytes may affect not only host defense but also the development of inflammatory diseases. Monocytes are a heterogeneous population with phenotypical and functional differences. Most recent studies have shown that monocytes are divided into three subsets, namely classical, intermediate and non-classical subsets, both in humans and mice. Accumulating evidence showed that monocyte activation is associated with the disease progression in autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, it remains to be determined how monocytes contribute to the disease process and which subset is involved. In this review, we discuss the pathogenic role of monocyte subsets in SLE and RA on the basis of current studies by ourselves and others to shed light on the suitability of monocyte-targeted therapies in these diseases.

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In vivo modulation of leukocyte trafficking receptor following therapeutic purging of myeloid cells: implications for treatment of HIV infection and other immune disorders

Priscilla Biswas Barbara Mantelli Alberto Beretta Clinical Immunology 109 (2003) 355–358 DOI: 10.1016/j.clim.2003.07.001 

Therapeutic purging of myeloid cells (monocytes and granulocytes) (MYP) has been proposed as a treatment of severe inflammatoryconditions like ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Although direct purging of inflammatory cells contributes to its efficacy, the precise mechanism of action is still unclear. We have tested MYP in a pilot study on 12 patients with chronic HIV infection, of whom 6 underwent MYP. Three/6 MYP patients and none of the controls displayed a strong and long-lasting decrease of cells expressing CXCR3,a major chemokine receptor responsible for trafficking of inflammatory cells. In these three patients, the number of circulating CD4 T cells increased during treatment. The data provide a rational for the use of MYP as a therapeutic tool acting via the modulation of immune cell trafficking

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