Signal integration determines cell fate on the cellular level, affects cognitive processes and affective responses on the behavioural level, and is likely to be involved in psychoneurobiological processes underlying mood disorders. Interactions between stimuli may subjected to time effects. Time-dependencies of interactions between stimuli typically lead to complex cell responses and complex responses on the behavioural level. We show that both three-factor models and time series models can be used to uncover such time-dependencies. However, we argue that for short longitudinal data the three factor modelling approach is more suitable. In order to illustrate both approaches, we re-analysed previously published short longitudinal data sets. We found that in human embryonic kidney 293 cells cells the interaction effect in the regulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1 signalling activation by insulin and epidermal growth factor is subjected to a time effect and dramatically decays at peak values of ERK activation. In contrast, we found that the interaction effect induced by hypoxia and tumour necrosis factor-alpha for the transcriptional activity of the human cyclo-oxygenase-2 promoter in HEK293 cells is time invariant at least in the first 12-h time window after stimulation. Furthermore, we applied the three-factor model to previously reported animal studies. In these studies, memory storage was found to be subjected to an interaction effect of the beta-adrenoceptor agonist clenbuterol and certain antagonists acting on the alpha-1-adrenoceptor / glucocorticoid-receptor system. Our model-based analysis suggests that only if the antagonist drug is administer in a critical time window, then the interaction effect is relevant.
- three-factor models
- interactions between stimuli
- transcriptional activation
- crosstalk between signalling pathways