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Stochastic models of stem cells and their descendants under different criticality assumptions

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-07-06, 15:20 authored by Nam H. Nguyen, Marek Kimmel

We study time continuous branching processes with exponentially distributed lifetimes, with two types of cells that proliferate according to binary fission. A range of possible system dynamics are considered, each of which is characterized by the mutation rate of the original cells and the survival probability of the altered cells’ progeny. For each system, we derive a closed-form expression for the joint probability generating function of cell counts, and perform asymptotic analysis on the behaviors of the cell population with particular focus on probability of extinction. Part of our results confirms known properties of branching processes using a different approach while other are original. While the model is best suited for modeling the fate of differentiating stem cells, we discuss other scenarios in which these system dynamics may be applicable in real life. We also discuss the history of the subject.