Journal article

Intracellular Ca2+ stores can account for the time course of LTP induction: a model of Ca2+ dynamics in dendritic spines

1. A model of Ca2+ dynamics in spines of CA1 hippocampal neurons is presented. In contrast to traditional models, which concentrate on the effects of Ca2+ influx, diffusion, buffering, and extrusion, we also consider the additional effect of intracellular Ca2+ stores. 2. It is shown that traditional models without Ca2+ stores cannot account for the time course of long-term potentiation (LTP) induction as found in recent experiments. Experimental data suggest that the intracellular Ca2+ concentration should be elevated for up to 2 s, whereas the Ca2+ concentration in standard models of Ca2+ dynamics decays much faster. 3. When intracellular Ca2+ stores are taken into account, a much slower decay is found. In particular, a model simulation with a stimulation paradigm consisting of two bursts of four impulses at 100 Hz each and variable interburst intervals can reproduce experimental results found for primed or theta-burst stimulation. 4. In our model, Ca2+ release from the store has a nonlinear, bell-shaped dependence on the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, similar to the one found for inositoltrisphosphate and ryanodine receptors. These receptors are known to control calcium release from intracellular stores. 5. Our model suggests an important role of intracellular calcium stores in the induction of LTP. The stores serve as a long-term calcium source that can sustain an intracellular Ca2+ concentration above the resting level for 1-2 s.

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