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Background: Computer-aided, interdisciplinary researches for biomedicine have valuable prospects, as digitalization of experimental subjects provide opportunities for saving the economic costs of researches, as well as promoting the acquisition of knowledge. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is intensively studied over long periods of time. Till nowaday, most of the studies primarily focus on the leukemic cells rather than how normal hematopoietic cells are affected by the leukemic environment. Accordingly, the conventional animal models for AML are mostly myeloablated as leukemia can be induced with short latency and complete penetrance. Meanwhile, most previous computational models focus on modeling the leukemic cells but not the multi-tissue leukemic body resided by both leukemic and normal blood cells. Recently, a non-irradiated AML mouse model has been established; therefore, normal hematopoietic cells can be investigated during leukemia development. Experiments based on the non-irradiated animal model have monitored the kinetics of leukemic and (intact) hematopoietic cells in multiple tissues simultaneously; and thus a systematic computational model for the multi-tissue hematopoiesis under leukemia has become possible. Results: In the present work, we adopted the modeling methods in previous works, but aimed to model the tri-tissue (peripheral blood, spleen and bone marrow) dynamics of hematopoiesis under leukemia. The cell kinetics generated from the non-irradiated experimental model were used as the reference data for modeling. All mathematical formulas were systematically enumerated, and model parameters were estimated via numerical optimization. Multiple validations by additional experimental data were then conducted for the established computational model. In the results, we illustrated that the important fact of functional depression of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSC/HPC) in leukemic bone marrow (BM), which must require additional experiments to be established, could also be inferred from our computation model that utilized only the cell kinetics data as the input. Conclusion: The digitalized AML model established in the present work is effective for reconstructing the hematopoiesis under leukemia as well as simulating the hematopoietic response to leukemic cell expansion. Given the validity and efficiency, the model can be of potential utilities in future biomedical studies; additionally, the modeling method itself can be also applied elsewhere.
Li, R., Cheng, H., Cheng, T., & Liu, L. (2016). Digitalization of a non-irradiated acute myeloid leukemia model. BMC Systems Biology, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12918-016-0308-x