Models for chronic immune lesions: Lessons from atherosclerosis and tuberculosis

12 Jul 2018, 10:30
New Law School/--105 (University of Sydney)

New Law School/--105

University of Sydney



Models for chronic immune lesions: Lessons from atherosclerosis and tuberculosis

  • Mary Myerscough (University of Sydney)


Immune lesions are produced by the body in response to a wide variety of stimuli and can occur in many different parts of the body. Chronically inflamed lesions contain populations of macrophages that undergo apoptosis and are consumed by other macrophages via the process of efferocytosis. If apoptotic macrophages fail to be consumed, or die in an uncontrolled way, this produces necrotic regions in the lesion which may make lesion resolution even more problematic. Because the lipid content of macrophages is recycled during efferocytosis, these necrotic regions can contain a substantial amount of free lipids, including cholesterol. As an inflamed lesion grows it may distort the surrounding tissue.
One of the most significant examples of lipid-rich chronically inflamed lesions are atherosclerotic plaques, that form in the walls of major arteries in response to an invasion of modified low density lipoproteins. Vascular disease caused by atherosclerosis is one of the most common causes of death worldwide. Another important example of a lipid-rich chronic lesion is tuberculous granulomas that can form in many part of the body in response to infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is the number one cause of death due to infectious disease in the world.
This minisymposium brings together modelers who study atherosclerotic plaques and tuberculosis granulomas where macrophage dynamics and lipid trafficking are important and where there is potential for plaque or granuloma expansion into the surrounding tissues. The aim of this minisymposium is to promote cross-fertilization between different modelers both within and beyond non-infectious and infectious diseases.
Speakers will present a variety of different types of models that include PDE models for spatial pattern in lesion, PDE models for lipid accumulation in macrophages and agent-based models that are hybrid (including PDEs and ODEs) and also multiscale in nature.

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