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Astrocyte signaling in the presence of spatial inhomogeneities

Stamatakis, M; Mantzaris, NV; (2007) Astrocyte signaling in the presence of spatial inhomogeneities. Chaos , 17 (3) 10.1063/1.2767409. Green open access

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Abstract

Astrocytes, a special type of glial cells, were considered to have just a supporting role in information processing in the brain. However, several recent studies have shown that they can be chemically stimulated by various neurotransmitters, such as ATP, and can generate Ca2+ and ATP waves, which can propagate over many cell lengths before being blocked. Although pathological conditions, such as spreading depression and epilepsy, have been linked to abnormal wave propagation in astrocytic cellular networks, a quantitative understanding of the underlying characteristics is still lacking. Astrocytic cellular networks are inhomogeneous, in the sense that the domain they occupy contains passive regions or gaps, which are unable to support wave propagation. Thus, this work focuses on understanding the complex interplay between single-cell signal transduction, domain inhomogeneity, and the characteristics of wave propagation and blocking in astrocytic cellular networks. The single-cell signal transduction model that was employed accounts for ATP-mediated I P3 production, the subsequent Ca2+ release from the ER, and ATP release into the extracellular space. The model is excitable and thus an infinite range of wave propagation is observed if the domain of propagation is homogeneous. This is not always the case for inhomogeneous domains. To model wave propagation in inhomogeneous astrocytic networks, a reaction-diffusion framework was developed and one-gap as well as multiple-gap cases were simulated using an efficient finite-element algorithm. The minimum gap length that blocks the wave was computed as a function of excitability levels and geometric characteristics of the inhomogeneous network, such as the length of the active regions (cells). Complex transient patterns, such as wave reflection, wave trapping, and generation of echo waves, were also predicted by the model, and their relationship to the geometric characteristics of the network was evaluated. Therefore, the proposed model can help in the formulation of testable hypotheses to explain the observed abnormal wave propagation in pathological situations. © 2007 American Institute of Physics.

Type: Article
Title: Astrocyte signaling in the presence of spatial inhomogeneities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1063/1.2767409
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2767409
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright 2007 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Stamatakis, M; Mantzaris, NV; (2007) Astrocyte signaling in the presence of spatial inhomogeneities. Chaos , 17 (3) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2767409
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1356188
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