B cell development in aging mice: lessons from mathematical modeling

Int Immunol. 2006 Jan;18(1):31-9. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxh346. Epub 2005 Nov 15.


Previous studies have not completely clarified the precise defect that characterizes B cell development in aged animals. The question of which developmental mechanism is actually deficient in aging remains controversial. The goal of this study was to elucidate the effects of aging on bone marrow B cell population dynamics. We used mathematical modeling to predict the outcome of the different possible effects, and then compared these predictions to experimental data, to find the most plausible effects. Our model shows that the three main differences between B cell development in young and old mice are a decrease in the maximum number of cells in the pre-B compartment and increases in the rate of transition from cycling pre-B cells to resting pre-B cells and in the fractions of static cells included in the immature B cell subset.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / immunology*
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological*