DOI: 10.1101/456947Oct 30, 2018Paper

A stochastic model of corneal epithelium maintenance and recovery following perturbation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
E MorakiKevin J Painter


Various biological studies suggest that the corneal epithelium is maintained by active stem cells located in the limbus, the so-called Limbal Epithelial Stem Cell (LESC) hypothesis. While numerous mathematical models have been developed to describe corneal epithelium wound healing, only a few have explored the process of corneal epithelium homeostasis. In this paper we present a purposefully simple stochastic mathematical model based on a chemical master equation approach, with the aim of clarifying the main factors involved in the maintenance process. Model analysis provides a set of constraints on the numbers of stem cells, division rates, and the number of division cycles required to maintain a healthy corneal epithelium. In addition, our stochastic analysis reveals noise reduction as the epithelium approaches its homeostatic state, indicating robustness to noise. Finally, recovery is analysed in the context of perturbation scenarios.

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