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A theory of coalescence of signal receptor clusters in mast cells is developed in close connection with experiments. It is based on general considerations involving a feedback procedure and a time-dependent capture as part of a reaction-diffusion process. Characteristic features of observations that need to be explained are indicated and it is shown why calculations available in the literature are not satisfactory. While the latter involves static centers at which the reaction part of the phenomenon occurs, by its very nature, coalescence involves dynamically evolving centers. This is so because the process continuously modifies the size of the cluster aggregate which then proceeds to capture more material. We develop a procedure that consists of first solving a static reaction-diffusion problem and then imbuing the center with changing size. The consequence is a dependence of the size of the signal receptor cluster aggregate on time. A preliminary comparison with experiment is shown to reveal a sharp difference between theory and data. The observation indicates that the reaction occurs slowly at first and then picks up rapidly as time proceeds. Parameter modification to fit the observations cannot solve the problem. We use this observation to build into the theory an accumulation rate that is itself dependent on time. A memory representation and its physical basis are explained. The consequence is a theory that can be fit to observations successfully.


V M Kenkre, K Spendier. A theory of coalescence of signaling receptor clusters in immune cells. Physica A. 2022 Sep 15;602

PMID: 35966144

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