In silico models of acute inflammation in animals

Yoram Vodovotz*, Carson C. Chow, John Bartels, Claudio Lagoa, Jose M. Prince, Ryan M. Levy, Rukmini Kumar, Judy Day, Jonathan Rubin, Greg Constantine, Timothy R. Billiar, Mitchell P. Fink, Gilles Clermont

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Trauma and hemorrhagic shock elicit an acute inflammatory response, predisposing patients to sepsis, organ dysfunction, and death. Few approved therapies exist for these acute inflammatory states, mainly due to the complex interplay of interacting inflammatory and physiological elements working at multiple levels. Various animal models have been used to simulate these phenomena, but these models often do not replicate the clinical setting of multiple overlapping insults. Mathematical modeling of complex systems is an approach for understanding the interplay among biological interactions. We constructed a mathematical model using ordinary differential equations that encompass the dynamics of cells and cytokines of the acute inflammatory response, as well as global tissue dysfunction. The model was calibrated in C57Bl/6 mice subjected to (1) various doses of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) alone, (2) surgical trauma, and (3) surgery + hemorrhagic shock. We tested the model's predictive ability in scenarios on which it had not been trained, namely, (1) surgery ± hemorrhagic shock + LPS given at times after the beginning of surgical instrumentation, and (2) surgery + hemorrhagic shock + bilateral femoral fracture. Software was created that facilitated fitting of the mathematical model to experimental data, as well as for simulation of experiments with various inflammatory challenges and associated variations (gene knockouts, inhibition of specific cytokines, etc.). Using this software, the C57Bl/6-specific model was recalibrated for inflammatory analyte data in CD14 mice and was used to elucidate altered features of inflammation in these animals. In other experiments, rats were subjected to surgical trauma ± LPS or to bacterial infection via fibrin clots impregnated with various inocula of Escherichia coli. Mathematical modeling may provide insights into the complex dynamics of acute inflammation in a manner that can be tested in vivo using many fewer animals than has been possible previously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Inflammation
  • Mathematical model
  • Mouse
  • Rat
  • Sepsis
  • Trauma


Dive into the research topics of 'In silico models of acute inflammation in animals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this