Geometry-based Computational Modeling of Calcium Signaling in an Astrocyte

  • Muhammad Uzair Khalid
  • Aapo Tervonen
  • Iina Korkka
  • Jari HyttinenEmail author
  • Kerstin Lenk
Conference paper
Part of the IFMBE Proceedings book series (IFMBE, volume 65)


In the last two decades, astrocytes have gained more interest due to the realization that they are involved not only in information processing and memory formation but are also linked with several neurodegenerative disorders and brain diseases. Communicating indirectly with synapses via released gliotransmitters such as glutamate, astrocytes take part in the neuronal activity by propagating intracellular and intercellular waves of calcium (Ca2+). However, it is not clear what effect does the astrocyte geometry have on these Ca2+ wave dynamics. In this study, we present a geometry-based computational model of an astrocyte that is used to simulate the stimulation and propagation of intracellular astrocytic Ca2+ waves. To our best knowledge, this is the first computational model to study the effect of the single astrocyte geometry on the Ca2+ wave propagation, while taking into account the intricate biological pathways that regulate internal Ca2+ dynamics. By simulating theoretical astrocyte geometries with a fixed glutamate stimulus, we found that narrower astrocyte processes lead to stronger Ca2+ wave dynamics, in comparison to wider processes. From this study, we concluded that the geometry does have a visible effect on the overall intracellular Ca2+ dynamics.


Astrocytes Synapses Calcium Signaling Astrocyte Geometry Computational Modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Uzair Khalid
    • 1
  • Aapo Tervonen
    • 1
  • Iina Korkka
    • 1
  • Jari Hyttinen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kerstin Lenk
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.BioMediTech Institute and Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and EngineeringTampere University of TechnologyTampereFinland
  2. 2.DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies DresdenTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany

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