Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

Living Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Calcium Waves

  • M. Saleet JafriEmail author
  • Aman Ullah
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7320-6_182-1


A calcium wave is a transient rise in cytosolic calcium concentration that propagates spatially within the cell. It has the property that it is regenerative and is followed by a refractory period. It is believed that the wave carries a signal from one part of the cell to another.

Detailed Description

Calcium ions play an important role in a variety of cellular functions that impact nearly all aspects of cellular life. In fact, the calcium signal is one of the most versatile and universal signaling agents of the human body that controls almost everything we do – Ca2+ ions contribute to egg activation upon fertilization, muscle contraction, enzyme secretion, neurotransmitter release, how our brains process information and store memories, wound healing, and apoptosis. Calcium ions play such an important role in so many biological processes that it has been branded as the “life and death signal” (Berridge et al. 1998).

At rest, intracellular calcium concentration remains low,...


Calcium Release Endoplasmic Reticulum Membrane Calcium Wave Kinematic Wave Cytosolic Calcium Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adkins CE, Taylor CW (1999) Lateral inhibition of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors by cytosolic Ca(2+). Curr Biol 9(19):1115–1118PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atri A, Amundson J et al (1993) A single-pool model for intracellular calcium oscillations and waves in the Xenopus laevis oocyte. Biophys J 65(4):1727–1739PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berridge MJ, Bootman MD et al (1998) Calcium–a life and death signal. Nature 395(6703):645–648PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. De Young GW, Keizer J (1992) A single-pool inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-receptor-based model for agonist-stimulated oscillations in Ca2+ concentration. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 89(20):9895–9899PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Falcke M (2004) Reading the pattern in living cells – the physics of Ca2+ signaling. Adv Phys Adv Phys 53:255–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fall CP, Wagner JM et al (2004) Cortically restricted production of IP3 leads to propagation of the fertilization Ca2+ wave along the cell surface in a model of the Xenopus egg. J Theor Biol 231(4):487–496PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Foskett JK, White C et al (2007) Inositol trisphosphate receptor Ca2+ release channels. Physiol Rev 87(2):593–658PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Girard S, Luckhoff A et al (1992) Two-dimensional model of calcium waves reproduces the patterns observed in Xenopus oocytes. Biophys J 61(2):509–517PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jafri MS, Keizer J (1994) Diffusion of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate but not Ca2+ is necessary for a class of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-induced Ca2+ waves. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 91(20):9485–9489PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jafri MS, Keizer J (1995) On the roles of Ca2+ diffusion, Ca2+ buffers, and the endoplasmic reticulum in IP3-induced Ca2+ waves. Biophys J 69(5):2139–2153PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jafri MS, Keizer J (1997) Agonist-induced calcium waves in oscillatory cells: a biological example of Burgers’ equation. Bull Math Biol 59(6):1125–1144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Keizer J, De Young GW (1994) Simplification of a realistic model of IP3-induced. Ca2+ oscillations. J Theor Biol 166:431–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lechleiter JD, John LM et al (1998) Ca2+ wave dispersion and spiral wave entrainment in Xenopus laevis oocytes overexpressing Ca2+ ATPases. Biophys Chem 72(1–2):123–129PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Murray JD (1993) Mathematical biology. Springer, Berlin/New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Roth BJ, Yagodin SV et al (1995) A mathematical model of agonist-induced propagation of calcium waves in astrocytes. Cell Calcium 17(1):53–64PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sneyd J, Dufour JF (2002) A dynamic model of the type-2 inositol trisphosphate receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99(4):2398–2403PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sneyd J, Wetton BT et al (1995) Intercellular calcium waves mediated by diffusion of inositol trisphosphate: a two-dimensional model. Am J Physiol 268(6 Pt 1):C1537–C1545PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Ullah A (2011) Computational modeling of channel clustering effects on calcium signaling during Oocyte maturation. PhD, Ohio UniversityGoogle Scholar
  19. Wagner J, Keizer J (1994) Effects of rapid buffers on Ca2+ diffusion and Ca2+ oscillations. Biophys J 67(1):447–456PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Systems Biology and Krasnow Institute for Advanced StudiesGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA