The impact of stochasticity and its control on a model of the inflammatory response

Panteleimon D. Mavroudis, Jeremy D. Scheff, John C. Doyle, Yoram Vodovotz, Ioannis P. Androulakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The dysregulation of inflammation, normally a self-limited response that initiates healing, is a critical component of many diseases. Treatment of inflammatory disease is hampered by an incomplete understanding of the complexities underlying the inflammatory response, motivating the application of systems and computational biology techniques in an effort to decipher this complexity and ultimately improve therapy. Many mathematical models of inflammation are based on systems of deterministic equations that do not account for the biological noise inherent at multiple scales, and consequently the effect of such noise in regulating inflammatory responses has not been studied widely. In this work, noise was added to a deterministic system of the inflammatory response in order to account for biological stochasticity. Our results demonstrate that the inflammatory response is highly dependent on the balance between the concentration of the pathogen and the level of biological noise introduced to the inflammatory network. In cases where the pro-and anti-inflammatory arms of the response do not mount the appropriate defense to the inflammatory stimulus, inflammation transitions to a different state compared to cases in which pro-and anti-inflammatory agents are elaborated adequately and in a timely manner. In this regard, our results show that noise can be both beneficial and detrimental for the inflammatory endpoint. By evaluating the parametric sensitivity of noise characteristics, we suggest that efficiency of inflammatory responses can be controlled. Interestingly, the time period on which parametric intervention can be introduced efficiently in the inflammatory system can be also adjusted by controlling noise. These findings represent a novel understanding of inflammatory systems dynamics and the potential role of stochasticity thereon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Inflammation
  • Mathematical model
  • Noise
  • Stochasticity


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