A Mathematical and Computational Model of Cell Lineages: The Effect of Branching and Feedback
Mentor:John Lowengrub, Chancellor’s Professor of Mathematics and Vice Chair of Graduate Studies , University of California Irvine
Previous studies using the mammalian olfactory epithelium (OE) have increased our understanding of the growth dynamics of cell lineages. Yet the current models have focused on simple lineages, which do not take into account the branched structure of the OE lineage where the stem cells may have produced two types of differentiated daughter cells. When these models are manipulated to remove certain negative regulatory factors on stem cells, the number of committed progenitor and terminally differentiated cells increases exponentially, contrary to biological observations. Using ordinary differential equations and computational simulations of cellular growth dynamics, we present a mathematical model of the steady-states, their stability, and the dynamics of branched lineages that incorporates positive and negative feedback factors. This model better accounts for all the known biological observations of the OE.