Immune network behavior-I. From stationary states to limit cycle oscilations

Rob J. De Boer, Alan S. Perelson, Ioannis G. Kevrekidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


We develop a model for the idiotypic interaction between two B cell clones. This model takes into account B cell proliferation, B cell maturation, antibody production, the formation and subsequent elimination of antibody-antibody complexes and recirculation of antibodies between the spleen and the blood. Here we investigate, by means of stability and bifurcation analysis, how each of the processes influences the model's behavior. After appropriate nondimensinalization, the model consists of eight ordinary differential equations and a number of parameters. We estimate the parameters from experimental sources. Using a coordinate system that exploits the pairwise symmetry of the interactions between two clones, we analyse two simplified forms of the model and obtain bifurcation diagrams showing how their five equilibrium states are related. We show that the so-called immune states lose stability if B cell and antibody concentrations change on different time scales. Additionally, we derive the structure of stable and unstable manifolds of saddle-tye equilibria, pinpoint their (global) bifurcations and show that these bifurcations play a crucial role in determining the parameter regimes in which the model exhibits oscillatory behavior.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)745-780
Number of pages36
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • General Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pharmacology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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