Book Chapter

Modeling Development and Disease in Our "Second" Brain

Kerry A Landman, Benjamin J Binder, Donald F Newgreen

Lecture Notes in Computer Science | SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN | Published : 2012


The enteric nervous system (ENS) in our gastrointestinal tract, nicknamed the second brain, is responsible for normal gut function and peristaltic contraction. Embryonic development of the ENS involves the colonization of the gut wall from one end to the other by a population of proliferating neural crest (NC) cells. Failure of these cells to invade the whole gut results in the relatively common, potentially fatal condition known as Hirschsprung disease (HSCR). Cellular automata models provide insight into the colonization process at both the individual cell-level and population-level. Our models generated experimentally testable predictions, which have subsequently been confirmed. The model..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council grants and with Victorian Government Operational Infrastructure Support Program.