Chemotactic signaling, microglia, and Alzheimer's disease senile plaques: Is there a connection?

Magdalena Luca, Alexandra Chavez-Ross, Leah Edelstein-Keshet, Alex Mogilner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chemotactic cells known as microglia are involved in the inflammation associated with pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We investigate conditions that lead to aggregation of microglia and formation of local accumulations of chemicals observed in AD senile plaques. We develop a model for chemotaxis in response to a combination of chemoattractant and chemorepellent signaling chemicals. Linear stability analysis and numerical simulations of the model predict that periodic patterns in cell and chemical distributions can evolve under local attraction, long-ranged repulsion, and other constraints on concentrations and diffusion coefficients of the chemotactic signals. Using biological parameters from the literature, we compare and discuss the applicability of this model to actual processes in AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-730
Number of pages38
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • General Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pharmacology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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