The ability to examine the behavior of biological systems in silico has the potential to greatly accelerate the pace of discovery in diseases, such as stroke, where in vivo analysis is time intensive and costly. In this paper we describe an approach for in silico examination of responses of the blood transcriptome to neuroprotective agents and subsequent stroke through the development of dynamic models of the regulatory processes observed in the experimental gene expression data. First, we identified functional gene clusters from these data. Next, we derived ordinary differential equations (ODEs) from the data relating these functional clusters to each other in terms of their regulatory influence on one another. Dynamic models were developed by coupling these ODEs into a model that simulates the expression of regulated functional clusters. By changing the magnitude of gene expression in the initial input state it was possible to assess the behavior of the networks through time under varying conditions since the dynamic model only requires an initial starting state, and does not require measurement of regulatory influences at each time point in order to make accurate predictions. We discuss the implications of our models on neuroprotection in stroke, explore the limitations of the approach, and report that an optimized dynamic model can provide accurate predictions of overall system behavior under several different neuroprotective paradigms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Modelling and Simulation
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Computational Theory and Mathematics