A mathematical model for IL6-induced differentiation of neural progenitor cells on a micropatterned polymer substrate
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Neural progenitor cells (NPC) hold potential for repairing the injured and diseased central nervous system, and because of this we would like to better understand the mechanisms of NPC migration and differentiation. Previous in vitro research has shown that adult rat hippocampal progenitor cells (AHPC) differentiate into neurons in response to hippocampal astrocyte-secreted factors, including the cytokine IL6. This work is a mathematical study of a simple mechanism for IL6-induced AHPC differentiation. We show that all experimental results under consideration can be replicated by this model. A global sensitivity analysis is performed, demonstrating that the inhibitor of this pathway does not have an effect on differentiation over the initial six day period. Steady-state solutions are then discussed. We conclude with an exploration the effects of chemotaxis on differentiation.