Rob Boer, Ioannis Kevrekidis, Alan Perelson

Paper #: 92-05-023

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 antibody 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 non-dimensionalization, 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 analyze 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-type 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.