A Model for Adult Organ Resizing Demonstrates Stem Cell Scaling through a Tunable Commitment Rate

Xin Xin Du, Lucy Erin O'Brien, Ingmar Hans Riedel-Kruse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many adult organs grow or shrink to accommodate different physiological demands. Often, as total cell number changes, stem cell number changes proportionally in a phenomenon called “stem cell scaling”. The cellular behaviors that give rise to scaling are unknown. Here we study two complementary theoretical models of the adult Drosophila midgut, a stem cell-based organ with known resizing dynamics. First, we derive a differential equations model of midgut resizing and show that the in vivo kinetics of growth can be recapitulated if the rate of fate commitment depends on the tissue's stem cell proportion. Second, we develop a 2D simulation of the midgut and find that proportion-dependent commitment rate and stem cell scaling can arise phenomenologically from the stem cells’ exploration of physical tissue space during its lifetime. Together, these models provide a biophysical understanding of how stem cell scaling is maintained during organ growth and shrinkage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-184
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume113
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 11 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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