Journal of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 445–459 | Cite as

A review of quantitative modeling of B cell responses to antigenic challenge

  • Timothy P. Hickling
  • Xiaoying Chen
  • Paolo Vicini
  • Satyaprakash NayakEmail author
Review Paper


A key role of B cells in the mammalian immune response is the generation of antibodies that serve to protect the organism against antigenic challenges. The same process may also be detrimental in the context of autoimmunity. Several modeling approaches have been applied to this aspect of the immune response, from predicting potential epitopes to describing B cells progress through developmental models and simulating antibody production. Here we review some of the modeling techniques, and summarize models that describe different activation mechanisms for B cells, including T cell dependent and independent models. We focus on viral infection as a prototype system, and briefly describe case studies in other disease areas such as bacterial infection and oncology. We single out aspects of the B cell response for which there are current knowledge gaps. We outline areas in need of further research in modeling applications to ultimately produce a “B cell module” for a complete immune response model.


B cell receptors Affinity maturation Epitope recognition Agent based modeling Differential equations T cell dependent activation 



The authors are Pfizer employees and shareholders. The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Catherine Yeh’s support in implementing in MATLAB the published models used for the computer simulations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy P. Hickling
    • 1
  • Xiaoying Chen
    • 2
  • Paolo Vicini
    • 3
  • Satyaprakash Nayak
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism - New Biological EntitiesPfizerAndoverUSA
  2. 2.Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism - New Biological EntitiesPfizerCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism - New Biological EntitiesPfizerSan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Pharmacometrics, Global Clinical PharmacologyPfizerCambridgeUSA

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