Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 75, Issue 9, pp 1417–1433

Mathematical Model of the Roles of T Cells in Inflammatory Bowel Disease


    • Mathematical Biosciences InstituteOhio State University
  • Razvan I. Arsenescu
    • Ohio State University Medical Center, Department of Internal MedicineOhio State University
  • Avner Friedman
    • Mathematical Biosciences Institute, Department of MathematicsOhio State University
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11538-013-9853-2

Cite this article as:
Lo, W., Arsenescu, R.I. & Friedman, A. Bull Math Biol (2013) 75: 1417. doi:10.1007/s11538-013-9853-2


Gut mucosal homeostasis depends on complex interactions among the microbiota, the intestinal epithelium, and the gut associated immune system. A breakdown in some of these interactions may precipitate inflammation. Inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis are chronic inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. The initial stages of disease are marked by an abnormally high level of pro-inflammatory helper T cells, Th1. In later stages, Th2 helper cells may dominate while the Th1 response may dampen. The interaction among the T cells includes the regulatory T cells (Treg). The present paper develops a mathematical model by a system of differential equations with terms nonlocal in the space spanned by the concentrations of cytokines that represents the interaction among T cells through a cytokine signaling network. The model demonstrates how the abnormal levels of T cells observed in inflammatory bowel diseases can arise from abnormal regulation of Th1 and Th2 cells by Treg cells.


Inflammatory bowel diseaseT helper cellsCytokinesTreg controlMathematical model

Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 2013