This project aims to develop mathematical and computational models of immune cell migration following acute injury in the zebrafish embryo, providing new tools for replacing and reducing some animal studies on inflammation and the immune response.
After an injury, immune cells migrate through the tissue to the site of the injury. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this response are key research questions. The zebrafish embryo is increasingly used for studies on inflammation, partly because it is transparent and therefore amenable to studying cell migration using fluorescent time lapse microscopy. The innate immune system of zebrafish embryos closely resembles that of mammals and therefore new models and tools developed in the fish have the potential to be extrapolated to minimise the use of mice in some inflammation studies.
Research details and methods
Historical data on cell migration from imaging and transcriptomic studies will be used to develop in silico models of macrophage and neutrophil migration following acute injury, focusing on intracellular signalling processes and migration through the extracellular matrix. The new model will provide a system to test hypotheses in order to better inform in vivo studies and avoid uninformative animal experiments.
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