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Mathematical Models of Corticotroph Cells
n-Categories: Foundations and Applications

David J.N. Wall
Biomathematics Research Centre
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
New Zealand

Pituitary corticotroph cells generate repetitive action potentials and associated Ca2+ transients in response to the agonist corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH). There is indirect evidence suggesting that the agonist, by way of complex intracellular mechanisms, modulates the voltage sensitivity of the L-type a2+ discuss some of the Hodgkin-Huxley type models we have constructed of this process, which have indicated that an increase in the L-type Ca2+ current is sufficient to generate repetitive action potentials. In particular we discuss the effects of including Ca2+ transport between cytosolic and endoplasmic compartments, and the spatial variation in our description of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and cytosolic [ Ca2+]. We have found firstly that this [Ca2+] spatial variation did not significantly affect the generation of action potentials, and secondly that a gradual increase in the ER Ca2+ during repetitive action potential activity can ultimately feed back sufficient Ca2+ into the cytosol to eliminate action potentials. We discuss ways in which cells might regulate their intracellular [ Ca2+] dynamics to avoid such an effect. We also investigate the bursting type behaviour inherent in the model.

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1998-1999 Mathematics in Biology

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