A Stochastic Model for CD4+ T Cell Proliferation and Dissemination Network in Primary Immune Response

PLoS One. 2015 Aug 24;10(8):e0135787. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135787. eCollection 2015.


The study of the initial phase of the adaptive immune response after first antigen encounter provides essential information on the magnitude and quality of the immune response. This phase is characterized by proliferation and dissemination of T cells in the lymphoid organs. Modeling and identifying the key features of this phenomenon may provide a useful tool for the analysis and prediction of the effects of immunization. This knowledge can be effectively exploited in vaccinology, where it is of interest to evaluate and compare the responses to different vaccine formulations. The objective of this paper is to construct a stochastic model based on branching process theory, for the dissemination network of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. The devised model is validated on in vivo animal experimental data. The model presented has been applied to the vaccine immunization context making references to simple proliferation laws that take into account division, death and quiescence, but it can also be applied to any context where it is of interest to study the dynamic evolution of a population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunity, Cellular / physiology*
  • Immunization
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Immunological
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / immunology
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / pharmacology
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Ovalbumin / pharmacology
  • Stochastic Processes


  • CpG ODN 1826
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Ovalbumin

Grant support

This study has been carried out with the Financial Support from the Commission of the European Communities, Seventh Framework Programme contract 280873 Advanced Immunisation Technologies (ADITEC) url:http://www.aditecproject.eu/. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.