Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Mathematical modeling is being increasingly recognized within the biomedical sciences as an important tool that can aid the understanding of biological systems. The heavily regulated cell renewal cycle in the colonic crypt provides a good example of how modeling can be used to find out key features of the system kinetics, and help to explain both the breakdown of homeostasis and the initiation of tumorigenesis. We use the cell population model by Johnston et al. to illustrate the power of mathematical modeling by considering two key questions about the cell population dynamics in the colonic crypt. We ask: how can a model describe both homeostasis and unregulated growth in tumorigenesis; and to which parameters in the system is the model most sensitive? In order to address these questions, we discuss what type of modeling approach is most appropriate in the crypt. We use the model to argue why tumorigenesis is observed to occur in stages with long lag phases between periods of rapid growth, and we identify the key parameters.

Original publication

DOI

10.4161/cc.6.17.4649

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cell Cycle

Publication Date

01/09/2007

Volume

6

Pages

2106 - 2112

Keywords

Animals, Colon, Homeostasis, Humans, Models, Biological, Mutation, Neoplasms, Stem Cells