MPIDR Working Paper

Modeling of immune life history and body growth: the role of antigen burden

Rudnev, S. G., Romanyukha, A. A., Yashin, A. I.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2006-042, 34 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (November 2006)
Open Access


In this paper, a recently developed mathematical model of age related changes in population of peripheral T cells (Romanyukha, Yashin, 2003) is used to describe ontogenetic changes of the immune system. The treatise is based on the assumption of linear dependence of antigen load from basal metabolic rate, which, in turn, depends on body mass following the allometric relationship – 3/4 power scaling law (Kleiber, 1932; West, Brown, 2005). Energy cost of antigen burden, i.e. the energy needed to produce and maintain immune cells plus the energy loss due to infectious diseases, is estimated and used as a measure of the immune system effectiveness. The dependence of optimal resource allocation from the parameters of antigen load is studied.
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.