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Abstract Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) play a prominent role in the tumor microenvironment. A quantitative understanding of the tumor–MDSC interactions that influence disease progression is critical, and currently lacking. We developed a mathematical model of metastatic growth and progression in immune-rich tumor microenvironments. We modeled the tumor–immune dynamics with stochastic delay differential equations and studied the impact of delays in MDSC activation/recruitment on tumor growth outcomes. In the lung environment, when the circulating level of MDSCs was low, the MDSC delay had a pronounced impact on the probability of new metastatic establishment: blocking MDSC recruitment could reduce the probability of metastasis by as much as 50%. To predict patient-specific MDSC responses we fit to the model individual tumors treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors via Bayesian parameter inference. We reveal that control of the inhibition rate of natural killer (NK) cells by MDSCs had a larger influence on tumor outcomes than controlling the tumor growth rate directly. Posterior classification of tumor outcomes demonstrates that incorporating knowledge of the MDSC responses improved predictive accuracy from 63% to 82%. Investigation of the MDSC dynamics in an environment low in NK cells and abundant in cytotoxic T cells revealed, in contrast, that small MDSCmore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 27, 2024
Pascual, Mercedes (Ed.)To study viral evolutionary processes within patients, mathematical models have been instrumental. Yet, the need for stochastic simulations of minority mutant dynamics can pose computational challenges, especially in heterogeneous systems where very large and very small sub-populations coexist. Here, we describe a hybrid stochastic-deterministic algorithm to simulate mutant evolution in large viral populations, such as acute HIV-1 infection, and further include the multiple infection of cells. We demonstrate that the hybrid method can approximate the fully stochastic dynamics with sufficient accuracy at a fraction of the computational time, and quantify evolutionary end points that cannot be expressed by deterministic models, such as the mutant distribution or the probability of mutant existence at a given infected cell population size. We apply this method to study the role of multiple infection and intracellular interactions among different virus strains (such as complementation and interference) for mutant evolution. Multiple infection is predicted to increase the number of mutants at a given infected cell population size, due to a larger number of infection events. We further find that viral complementation can significantly enhance the spread of disadvantageous mutants, but only in select circumstances: it requires the occurrence of direct cell-to-cell transmission through virological synapses, asmore »
Quantifying the dynamics of viral recombination during free virus and cell-to-cell transmission in HIV-1 infectionAbstract Recombination has been shown to contribute to human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) evolution in vivo, but the underlying dynamics are extremely complex, depending on the nature of the fitness landscapes and of epistatic interactions. A less well-studied determinant of recombinant evolution is the mode of virus transmission in the cell population. HIV-1 can spread by free virus transmission, resulting largely in singly infected cells, and also by direct cell-to-cell transmission, resulting in the simultaneous infection of cells with multiple viruses. We investigate the contribution of these two transmission pathways to recombinant evolution, by applying mathematical models to in vitro experimental data on the growth of fluorescent reporter viruses under static conditions (where both transmission pathways operate), and under gentle shaking conditions, where cell-to-cell transmission is largely inhibited. The parameterized mathematical models are then used to extrapolate the viral evolutionary dynamics beyond the experimental settings. Assuming a fixed basic reproductive ratio of the virus (independent of transmission pathway), we find that recombinant evolution is fastest if virus spread is driven only by cell-to-cell transmission and slows down if both transmission pathways operate. Recombinant evolution is slowest if all virus spread occurs through free virus transmission. This is due to cell-to-cell transmissionmore »
Effect of synaptic cell-to-cell transmission and recombination on the evolution of double mutants in HIVRecombination in HIV infection can impact virus evolution in vivo in complex ways, as has been shown both experimentally and mathematically. The effect of free virus versus synaptic, cell-to-cell transmission on the evolution of double mutants, however, has not been investigated. Here, we do so by using a stochastic agent-based model. Consistent with data, we assume spatial constraints for synaptic but not for free-virus transmission. Two important effects of the viral spread mode are observed: (i) for disadvantageous mutants, synaptic transmission protects against detrimental effects of recombination on double mutant persistence. Under free virus transmission, recombination increases double mutant levels for negative epistasis, but reduces them for positive epistasis. This reduction for positive epistasis is much diminished under predominantly synaptic transmission, and recombination can, in fact, lead to increased mutant levels. (ii) The mode of virus spread also directly influences the evolutionary fate of double mutants. For disadvantageous mutants, double mutant production is the predominant driving force, and hence synaptic transmission leads to highest double mutant levels due to increased transmission efficiency. For advantageous mutants, double mutant spread is the most important force, and hence free virus transmission leads to fastest invasion due to better mixing. For neutral mutants, bothmore »