This chapter discusses the kinetic modelling of T helper (Th) lymphocyte differentiation, one of the better understood examples of cell differentiation. T lymphocytes originate from the differentiation of hematopoietic (‘blood-making’) stem cells. Section 9.1 introduces the hematopoietic system with its various cell lineages. Section 9.2 describes essential details of the molecular control of Th differentiation and a dynamical model — proposed by Yates, Callard and Stark. Section 9.3 illustrates how differentiation can be controlled by two transcription factors exhibiting intrinsic bistable behavior. In Section 9.4, the YCS model is used to study the interaction between extracellular and intracellular signalling in a population of Th cells. Finally, abstract models of high-dimensional switches (with more than two differentiation outcomes possible) are presented in Section 9.5. Exercises are provided at the end of the chapter.
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