Rob J. De Boer
Cellular competition for survival and/or proliferation signals plays a crucial role in the maintenance and selection of B cell repertoires. We develop a mathematical model for populations of B cells appearing from the bone marrow into the peripheral circulation, where they compete for ligands providing survival and/or stimulatory signals. The structure of this model resembles conventional ecological models for resource competition.
Assuming that B cells compete for survival signals only, i.e., assuming no peripheral B cell renewal, the model accounts for the data on total B cell numbers in repertoires where normal B cells compete with transgenic ones. Making a mean field model we suggest that most of the competition is within the transgenic clone (i.e., intraspecific), and that we need little interspecific competition between the normal and transgenic clones to account for the data.The work presented is joint with Alan S. Perelson and Antonio A. Freitas