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Developmental Immunology
Volume 9 (2002), Issue 4, Pages 203-214

Conclusions from Two Model Concepts on Germinal Center Dynamics and Morphology

Institute for Theoretical Physics, Technical University Dresden, Dresden D-01062, Germany

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Germinal centers (GC) are an essential part of the humoral immune response. They develop a clear structure during maturation: Centroblasts and centrocytes are separated into two zones, the dark and the light zone. The mechanisms leading to this specific morphology as well as the reason for zone-depletion during a later phase of the GC reaction have not clearly been revealed in experiment. We discuss and weigh possible mechanisms of dark and light zone development in the framework of two mathematical models. In a comparative approach we formulate constraints on typical lymphocyte velocities in GCs which are characteristic for the different proposed mechanisms.