A mathematical model of spontaneous calcium(II) oscillations in astrocytes

J Theor Biol. 2008 Apr 21;251(4):553-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.12.011. Epub 2008 Feb 14.


Astrocytes exhibit oscillations and waves of Ca2+ ions within their cytosol and it appears that this behavior helps facilitate the astrocyte's interaction with its environment, including its neighboring neurons. Often changes in the oscillatory behavior are initiated by an external stimulus such as glutamate, recently however, it has been observed that oscillations are also initiated spontaneously. We propose here a mathematical model of how spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations arise in astrocytes. This model uses the calcium-induced calcium release and inositol cross-coupling mechanisms coupled with a receptor-independent method for producing inositol (1,4,5)-trisphosphate as the heart of the model. By computationally mimicking experimental constraints we have found that this model provides results that are qualitatively similar to experiment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cytosol / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate / metabolism
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons / metabolism


  • Calcium Channels
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate
  • Calcium