Bistable Mathematical Model of Neutrophil Migratory Patterns After LPS-Induced Epigenetic Reprogramming.


The highly controlled migration of neutrophils toward the site of an infection can be altered when they are trained with lipopolysaccharides (LPS), with high dose LPS enhancing neutrophil migratory pattern toward the bacterial derived source signal and super-low dose LPS inducing either migration toward an intermediary signal or dysregulation and oscillatory movement. Empirical studies that use microfluidic chemotaxis-chip devices with two opposing chemoattractants showed differential neutrophil migration after challenge with different LPS doses. The epigenetic alterations responsible for changes in neutrophil migratory behavior are unknown. We developed two mathematical models that evaluate the mechanistic interactions responsible for neutrophil migratory decision-making when exposed to competing chemoattractants and challenged with LPS. The first model, which considers the interactions between the receptor densities of two competing chemoattractants, their kinases, and LPS, displayed bistability between high and low ratios of primary to intermediary chemoattractant receptor densities. In particular, at equilibrium, we observe equal receptor densities for low LPS ( 15ng/mL). The second model, which included additional interactions with an extracellular signal-regulated kinase in both phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated forms, has an additional dynamic outcome, oscillatory dynamics for both receptors, as seen in the data. In particular, it found equal receptor densities in the absence of oscillation for super-low and high LPS challenge (< 0.4 and 1.1 <LPS< 375 ng/mL); equal receptor densities with oscillatory receptor dynamics for super-low LPS (0.5 < LPS376 ng/mL). Predicting the mechanisms and the type of external LPS challenge responsible for neutrophils migration toward pro-inflammatory chemoattractants, migration toward pro-tolerant chemoattractants, or oscillatory movement is necessary knowledge in designing interventions against immune diseases, such as sepsis.

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