Kinetic models of membrane excitability and synaptic interactions.

Alain Destexhe

In: Computational Modeling of Genetic and Biochemical Networks, Edited by J.M. Bower and H. Bolouri, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2000, pp. 225-262.

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This chapter reviews different approaches to model the ion channels underlying the electrical excitability of membranes in a way that naturally connects with cellular biochemistry. Voltage-dependent channels, ligand-gated channels, and second-messenger-gated channels are modeled along the same lines. For each type of channel, different representations are considered, from biophysically detailed models to highly simplified two-state (open/closed) representations. These different kinetic models can be used according to the level of biophysical detail required, typically multistate Markov models are required to describe single-channel behavior while simplified models capture the most salient properties of synaptic interactions necessary for network simulations. The case of linking ion channel models with various intracellular processes is also considered. The dynamics of intracellular calcium, calcium-binding proteins, exocytosis and G-protein mediated responses can be integrated together with ion channels using similar kinetic equations. This allows to describe various processes such as electrical excitability, synaptic transmission and cellular biochemistry using the same formalism.
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