Journal of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 75, Issue 6–7, pp 1411–1462 | Cite as

Normal and pathological dynamics of platelets in humans

  • Gabriel P. LangloisEmail author
  • Morgan Craig
  • Antony R. Humphries
  • Michael C. Mackey
  • Joseph M. Mahaffy
  • Jacques Bélair
  • Thibault Moulin
  • Sean R. Sinclair
  • Liangliang Wang


We develop a mathematical model of platelet, megakaryocyte, and thrombopoietin dynamics in humans. We show that there is a single stationary solution that can undergo a Hopf bifurcation, and use this information to investigate both normal and pathological platelet production, specifically cyclic thrombocytopenia. Carefully estimating model parameters from laboratory and clinical data, we then argue that a subset of parameters are involved in the genesis of cyclic thrombocytopenia based on clinical information. We provide model fits to the existing data for both platelet counts and thrombopoietin levels by changing four parameters that have physiological correlates. Our results indicate that the primary change in cyclic thrombocytopenia is an interference with, or destruction of, the thrombopoietin receptor with secondary changes in other processes, including immune-mediated destruction of platelets and megakaryocyte deficiency and failure in platelet production. This study contributes to the understanding of the origin of cyclic thrombocytopenia as well as extending the modeling of thrombopoiesis.


Platelet regulation dynamics Thrombopoiesis Megakaryopoiesis Cyclic thrombocytopenia Dynamic diseases Delay differential equations 

Mathematics Subject Classification

37N25 92B99 92C30 37G15 



This research was supported by the NSERC (National Sciences and Engineering Research Council) of Canada through Discovery grants to JB, ARH, and MCM, and PGS-D program to MC. SRS thanks McGill University for a Science Undegraduate Research Award. GPL and MCM are especially grateful to Dr. Jayson Potts (UBC) for his initial contact that prompted the initiation of this research. We thank Prof. Jiguo Cao (SFU) for introducing us to LW.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel P. Langlois
    • 1
    Email author
  • Morgan Craig
    • 2
  • Antony R. Humphries
    • 3
  • Michael C. Mackey
    • 4
  • Joseph M. Mahaffy
    • 5
  • Jacques Bélair
    • 6
  • Thibault Moulin
    • 7
  • Sean R. Sinclair
    • 3
  • Liangliang Wang
    • 8
  1. 1.Division of Applied MathematicsBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Program for Evolutionary DynamicsHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department of Mathematics, Physics, and PhysiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Department of Mathematical SciencesSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  6. 6.Département de mathématiques et de statistiqueUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  7. 7.Laboratoire Chrono-EnvironnementUniversité de Bourgogne Franche-ComtéBesançonFrance
  8. 8.Department of Statistics and Actuarial ScienceSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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