Contact time periods in immunological synapse

Daniel R. Bush*, Amit K. Chattopadhyay

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper resolves the long standing debate as to the proper time scale τ of the onset of the immunological synapse bond, the noncovalent chemical bond defining the immune pathways involving T cells and antigen presenting cells. Results from our model calculations show τ to be of the order of seconds instead of minutes. Close to the linearly stable regime, we show that in between the two critical spatial thresholds defined by the integrin:ligand pair (Δ2∼ 40-45 nm) and the T-cell receptor TCR:peptide-major-histocompatibility-complex pMHC bond (Δ1∼ 14-15 nm), τ grows monotonically with increasing coreceptor bond length separation δ (= Δ2-Δ1∼ 26-30 nm) while τ decays with Δ1 for fixed Δ2. The nonuniversal δ-dependent power-law structure of the probability density function further explains why only the TCR:pMHC bond is a likely candidate to form a stable synapse.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number042706
    Number of pages6
    JournalPhysical Review E
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2014

    Bibliographical note

    ©2014 American Physical Society


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