Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2023


Astrocytes are the most numerous type of glia in the central nervous system and perform a variety of regulatory mechanisms such as maintaining neurochemical homeostasis and metabolic support. Their dysregulation is linked to health conditions like epilepsy, ALS, and Parkinson’s. Unlike other types of glia, astrocytes actively respond to external signaling by releasing gliotransmitters and modulating their external ionic environment. These signals act on neurons, regulating synaptic transmission, neuronal spiking, and plasticity. Astrocytes regulate their synaptic control internally through oscillations of Ca2+ and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) concentrations. Research suggests that diffusion of IP3 through gap junctions between adjoining cells can disturb the oscillatory behavior, which can include the development of intercellular Ca2+ waves (ICWs). ICWs can result from natural physiological processes or pathological disturbances in chemical signaling (for example, excitatory ICWs may facilitate the spread of epileptiform activity). In this work, we present the basis of a model that examines the effects of intercellular Ca2+ waves on the intracellular dynamics of coupled astrocytes.



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