Revisiting Idiotypic Immune Networks
This paper will summarize the computational abstractions lying behind the simulation of immune idiotypic networks and present the most relevant emergent outcomes of the simulation, the same outcomes that give support to Varela, Coutinho and Stewart, when they see in this network one privileged way to address conflicting immunological questions. These more recent years, we have attended a resurgent interest for evolving networks showing interesting connectivity structure. The idiotypic network turns out to be such a kind of network and, for a well-tuned probability of matching two antibodies, the so called “percolation value”, it exhibits a particular connectivity structure. For this value, the network is able to demonstrate the most effective memorisation capacity and to usefully keep separated its tolerant from its immune responses. Would it be possible that such a kind of biological network, by deliberately tuning the matching probability of its cells to a given value, improving the communication among surrounding cells, exhibit as a secondary effect both the emergence of a dichotomous behaviour, tolerant and immune, and the best memorisation of previous encounters.
KeywordsMemory Capacity Connectivity Structure Repertoire Size Communication Pathway Idiotypic Network
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