T cell communication through cytokines: simple physics in a complex system

by Prof. Oleg Krichevsky

Dept. of Physics, Ben-Gurion University of The Negev
at Biological and soft-matter physics

Thu, 09 Dec 2021, 12:10
ZOOM only - Meeting ID: 817 2330 9223, Passcode: 345123


The proper course of the immune response requires tight coordination in the activity of multiple immune cells of different types. Such coordination happens through the exchange of small signaling molecules - cytokines - between the cells. While this has been known for decades, the physical parameters of this communication: its distance dependence, and the characteristic distances have not been addressed. We used theoretical considerations and experimental models of immune responses in vitro and in vivo to quantify the spatial extent of cytokine communications in dense tissues. Using T cell exchange of IL-2 as a model system, we demonstrated that the cytokine concentration around the secreting cell follows the predictions of a simple diffusion-consumption model, essentially, without any free parameters.
The characteristic size of the diffusion field is set by the competition between the cytokine diffusion and consumption rates, and was measured to be about 100 um in vivo. Furthermore, as the immune response proceeds, the consumption parameters change as cells respond to the cytokine, which leads to co-evolution of the cytokine and cytokine receptor fields. I will present our recent measurements and our modeling effort of this co-evolution in T cell cultures.

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Meeting ID: 817 2330 9223
Passcode: 345123

Created on 02-12-2021 by Granek, Rony (rgranek)
Updaded on 04-12-2021 by Granek, Rony (rgranek)