Date: June 20, 2023
Speaker: Megan Haase
Affiliation: University of Virginia
Title: Agent-Based Model Predicts How Altered Cytokine Dynamics Enhances Skeletal Muscle Regeneration
Abstract: Muscle regeneration is a complex process due to dynamic and multiscale biochemical and cellular interactions, making it difficult to determine optimal treatments for muscle injury using experimental approaches alone. To understand the degree to which individual cellular behaviors impact endogenous mechanisms of muscle recovery, we developed an agent-based model (ABM) using the Cellular Potts framework to simulate the dynamic microenvironment of a cross-section of murine skeletal muscle tissue. We referenced more than 100 published studies to define over 100 parameters and rules that dictate the behavior of muscle fibers, satellite stem cells (SSC), fibroblasts, neutrophils, macrophages, microvessels, and lymphatic vessels, as well as their interactions with each other and the microenvironment. We utilized parameter density estimation to calibrate the model to temporal biological datasets describing cross-sectional area (CSA) recovery, SSC, and fibroblast cell counts at multiple time points following injury. Predictions for eight model perturbations that varied cell or cytokine input conditions were compared to published experimental studies to validate model predictive capabilities. We used Latin hypercube sampling and partial rank correlation coefficient to identify in silico perturbations of cytokine diffusion coefficients and decay rates to enhance CSA recovery. This analysis suggests that combined alterations of specific cytokine decay and diffusion parameters result in greater fibroblast and SSC proliferation compared to individual perturbations. These results may guide development of therapeutic strategies that similarly alter muscle physiology during regeneration to enhance muscle recovery after injury.