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Trends in Cell & Molecular Biology   Volumes    Volume 9 
Regulation of the frequency and wavelength of calcium waves propagating in networks of interconnected cells: A simulation study
Juexuan Long, Pierre A. Deymier, Keith Runge, James B. Hoying
Pages: 19 - 33
Number of pages: 15
Trends in Cell & Molecular Biology
Volume 9 

Copyright © 2014 Research Trends. All rights reserved

We develop a model-based theoretical framework to shed light on the phenomenon of cross-level interactions in complex and dynamic multicellular structures with a focus on calcium signaling via calcium waves. In particular, we investigate computationally the interdependence between intracellular calcium and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) pathway and cell-cell communication via gap junction intercellular diffusion of Ca2+ and IP3. To enable the propagation of calcium waves in a one-dimensional chain of cells, we introduce a calcium concentration-dependent threshold-based mechanism to trigger calcium oscillations of individual cells. Our model shows that the dynamics of cells embedded in a multicellular network is significantly different from that of an isolated cell. In particular, we have demonstrated that the transient and steady state frequency of calcium oscillations of a cell stimulated with an agonist depends on its microenvironment, in this case, its cell neighbors. The neighborhood of the stimulated cell forms a “signaling niche” that acts on the stimulated cell itself and dynamically regulates its oscillation frequency. This effect is attributed to a crosstalk between the stimulated cell and its environment through retrograde diffusion of calcium and IP3.
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