Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 65, Issue 4, pp 693–730 | Cite as

Chemotactic signaling, microglia, and Alzheimer’s disease senile plaques: Is there a connection?

  • Magdalena LucaEmail author
  • Alexandra Chavez-Ross
  • Leah Edelstein-Keshet
  • Alex Mogilner


Chemotactic cells known as microglia are involved in the inflammation associated with pathology in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We investigate conditions that lead to aggregation of microglia and formation of local accumulations of chemicals observed in AD senile plaques. We develop a model for chemotaxis in response to a combination of chemoattractant and chemorepellent signaling chemicals. Linear stability analysis and numerical simulations of the model predict that periodic patterns in cell and chemical distributions can evolve under local attraction, long-ranged repulsion, and other constraints on concentrations and diffusion coefficients of the chemotactic signals. Using biological parameters from the literature, we compare and discuss the applicability of this model to actual processes in AD.


Hopf Bifurcation Pattern Formation Senile Plaque Linear Stability Analysis Negative Real Part 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magdalena Luca
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexandra Chavez-Ross
    • 2
  • Leah Edelstein-Keshet
    • 2
  • Alex Mogilner
    • 3
  1. 1.Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesSchool of Arts and SciencesBostonUSA
  2. 2.Room 1211984, Mathematics Road, Mathematics Annex 1111, Department of MathematicsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouver, British ColumbiaCanada
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and Center for Genetics and DevelopmentUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA

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