"Multi-Compartmental Modeling of Astrocytes"

Gordon Erlebacher
Department of Scientific Computing
Florida State University

499 Dirac Science Library


Astrocytes are glial cells that are currently thought to play many important roles in the regulation of neurons, maintaining homeostatis, nutrient transport, possible regulation of plasticity, to mention a few. The vast literature on astrocytes is mostly experimental, with only a handful of modeling papers. Recently, experimental techniques have improved sufficiently to measure the spatial-temporal dynamics of astrocytes.

Through a collaboration with James Schummer, an experimentalist at the Max Planck Institute, we have analyzed calcium concentrations measured by two-photon microscopy to better understand flow and spiking characteristics. This motivated the development of a multi-compartmental model of astrocytes to help explain the patterns of spiking experimentally observed in the different branches, how they relate to each other, the soma and the surrounding neurons. We will describe this model and present some initial findings.

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