Multiscale modeling of mucosal immune responses

Yongguo Mei, Vida Abedi, Adria Carbo, Xiaoying Zhang, Pinyi Lu, Casandra Philipson, Raquel Hontecillas, Stefan Hoops, Nathan Liles, Josep Bassaganya-Riera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Computational modeling techniques are playing increasingly important roles in advancing a systems-level mechanistic understanding of biological processes. Computer simulations guide and underpin experimental and clinical efforts. This study presents ENteric Immune Simulator (ENISI), a multiscale modeling tool for modeling the mucosal immune responses. ENISI's modeling environment can simulate in silico experiments from molecular signaling pathways to tissue level events such as tissue lesion formation. ENISI's architecture integrates multiple modeling technologies including ABM (agent-based modeling), ODE (ordinary differential equations), SDE (stochastic modeling equations), and PDE (partial differential equations). This paper focuses on the implementation and developmental challenges of ENISI. A multiscale model of mucosal immune responses during colonic inflammation, including CD4+ T cell differentiation and tissue level cell-cell interactions was developed to illustrate the capabilities, power and scope of ENISI MSM. Background: Computational techniques are becoming increasingly powerful and modeling tools for biological systems are of greater needs. Biological systems are inherently multiscale, from molecules to tissues and from nano-seconds to a lifespan of several years or decades. ENISI MSM integrates multiple modeling technologies to understand immunological processes from signaling pathways within cells to lesion formation at the tissue level. This paper examines and summarizes the technical details of ENISI, from its initial version to its latest cutting-edge implementation. Implementation: Object-oriented programming approach is adopted to develop a suite of tools based on ENISI. Multiple modeling technologies are integrated to visualize tissues, cells as well as proteins; furthermore, performance matching between the scales is addressed. Conclusion: We used ENISI MSM for developing predictive multiscale models of the mucosal immune system during gut inflammation. Our modeling predictions dissect the mechanisms by which effector CD4+ T cell responses contribute to tissue damage in the gut mucosa following immune dysregulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberS2
JournalBMC bioinformatics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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