288 pp. per issue
6 x 9, illustrated
2014 Impact factor:

Neural Computation

April 2015, Vol. 27, No. 4, Pages 898-924
(doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00712)
© 2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Neuronal Calcium Wave Propagation Varies with Changes in Endoplasmic Reticulum Parameters: A Computer Model
Article PDF (1.46 MB)

Calcium (Ca2+) waves provide a complement to neuronal electrical signaling, forming a key part of a neuron’s second messenger system. We developed a reaction-diffusion model of an apical dendrite with diffusible inositol triphosphate (IP3), diffusible Ca2+, IP3 receptors (IP3Rs), endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ leak, and ER pump (SERCA) on ER. Ca2+ is released from ER stores via IP3Rs upon binding of IP3 and Ca2+. This results in Ca2+-induced-Ca2+-release (CICR) and increases Ca2+ spread. At least two modes of Ca2+ wave spread have been suggested: a continuous mode based on presumed relative homogeneity of ER within the cell and a pseudo-saltatory model where Ca2+ regeneration occurs at discrete points with diffusion between them. We compared the effects of three patterns of hypothesized IP3R distribution: (1) continuous homogeneous ER, (2) hotspots with increased IP3R density (IP3R hotspots), and (3) areas of increased ER density (ER stacks). All three modes produced Ca2+ waves with velocities similar to those measured in vitro (approximately 50–90 μm /sec). Continuous ER showed high sensitivity to IP3R density increases, with time to onset reduced and speed increased. Increases in SERCA density resulted in opposite effects. The measures were sensitive to changes in density and spacing of IP3R hotspots and stacks. Increasing the apparent diffusion coefficient of Ca2+ substantially increased wave speed. An extended electrochemical model, including voltage-gated calcium channels and AMPA synapses, demonstrated that membrane priming via AMPA stimulation enhances subsequent Ca2+ wave amplitude and duration. Our modeling suggests that pharmacological targeting of IP3Rs and SERCA could allow modulation of Ca2+ wave propagation in diseases where Ca2+ dysregulation has been implicated.