B cell development in aging mice: Lessons from mathematical modeling

Gitit Shahaf, Kara Johnson, Ramit Mehr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Previous studies have not completely clarified the precise defect that characterizes B cell development in aged animals. The question of which developmental mechanism is actually deficient in aging remains controversial. The goal of this study was to elucidate the effects of aging on bone marrow B cell population dynamics. We used mathematical modeling to predict the outcome of the different possible effects, and then compared these predictions to experimental data, to find the most plausible effects. Our model shows that the three main differences between B cell development in young and old mice are a decrease in the maximum number of cells in the pre-B compartment and increases in the rate of transition from cycling pre-B cells to resting pre-B cells and in the fractions of static cells included in the immature B cell subset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to P. Witte for sharing the experimental data, to M. Cancro for critical reading of the manuscript and to H. Edelman for help in the manuscript preparation. This work was supported in part by Israel Science Foundation grant number 759/01-1 and The Yigal Alon Fellowship (to R.M.), and indirectly by a Human Frontiers Science Program grant and a Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research grant funding the Strategic Research Center for studies on Integrative Recognition in the Immune System, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden (supporting R.M.).


  • B lymphocytes
  • Computer simulations
  • Immunosenescence
  • Repertoire development


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