Modeling endotoxin-induced systemic inflammation using an indirect response approach

Math Biosci. 2009 Jan;217(1):27-42. doi: 10.1016/j.mbs.2008.09.003. Epub 2008 Sep 20.


A receptor mediated model of endotoxin-induced human inflammation is proposed. The activation of the innate immune system in response to the endotoxin stimulus involves the interaction between the extracellular signal and critical receptors driving downstream signal transduction cascades leading to transcriptional changes. We explore the development of an in silico model that aims at coupling extracellular signals with essential transcriptional responses through a receptor mediated indirect response model. The model consists of eight (8) variables and is evaluated in a series of biologically relevant scenarios indicative of the non-linear behavior of inflammation. Such scenarios involve a self-limited response where the inflammatory stimulus is cleared successfully; a persistent infectious response where the inflammatory instigator is not eliminated, leading to an aberrant inflammatory response, and finally, a persistent non-infectious inflammatory response that can be elicited under an overload of the pathogen-derived product; as such high dose of the inflammatory insult can disturb the dynamics of the host response leading to an unconstrained inflammatory response. Finally, the potential of the model is demonstrated by analyzing scenarios associated with endotoxin tolerance and potentiation effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Endotoxins / immunology
  • Endotoxins / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Endotoxins