Interestingly, at 8 weeks of age, two
injections of 2 mg also provided long-lasting protection (27% versus 100% diabetes in controls at 35 weeks), indicating that a short course of treatment modulated disease rigorously and persistently. The virtual NOD mouse recapitulates the reported majority responses (i.e. protection) for both protocols (Fig. 7a,b), providing assurance that the model represents the experimentally demonstrated importance of phagocytes in disease. Physiologically, the success of the late protocol is dependent not only on the degree of phagocyte depletion and corresponding diminution in islet infiltrates, but critically, the returning infiltrates are less cytotoxic for β cells. Phagocyte depletion provided sufficient respite to alter the check details cytokine milieu, skewing towards more tolerogenic DCs (Fig. 7c,d), differential expansion of regulatory T cells and the resulting
persistent protection. Because the model integrates mathematically the available public data on cytokine modulation of DC function, APC and T cell interactions, T cell phenotypes and intercellular interactions (e.g. perforin-mediated β cell apoptosis), this internal validation exercise verifies not only that phagocytes are important contributors to pathogenesis at 8 weeks, but also allows the deconvolution of physiological pathways that selleck products account for the observed effects. This example illustrates how treatment outcomes verify that major pieces of the biology are contributing appropriately and also provide testable hypotheses for the Adenosine details of that contribution. To test that the internally validated virtual NOD mouse has predictive power, we compare simulations against the reported outcomes for experimental perturbations that were not used previously during development. Because the model parameters are fixed prior to this external validation phase (i.e. no retuning to match the external
validation protocol experimental results is allowed), consistency between the in silico and experimental results provides confidence that the virtual mouse can be used to address new research questions. The process of external validation is also referred to commonly as ‘validation’ or ‘testing’. We use the external validation nomenclature for consistency with the ADA guidelines for computer modelling of diabetes . A number of external validation interventions were identified as meeting the following requirements: (a) underlying mechanisms fall within the scope of the modelled biology; (b) interventions target different aspects of the modelled biology; and (c) protocols include variability in timing or direction of disease modulation (protection versus exacerbation). The implemented set of external validation interventions [exogenous transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, exendin-4, rapamycin, anti-IL-2, anti-CD40L) were selected by an independent scientific advisory board.