A mathematical model of a neurovascular unit (Dormanns et al 2015, 2016) (Farrs & David 2011)

Here a lumped parameter numerical model of a neurovascular unit is presented, representing an intercellular communication system based on ion exchange through pumps and channels between neurons, astrocytes, smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, and the spaces between these cells: the synaptic cleft between the neuron and astrocyte, the perivascular space between the astrocyte and SMC, and the extracellular space surrounding the cells. The model contains various cellular and chemical pathways such as potassium, astrocytic calcium, and nitric oxide. The model is able to simulate neurovascular coupling, the process characterised by an increase in neuronal activity followed by a rapid dilation of local blood vessels and hence increased blood supply providing oxygen and glucose to cells in need.

Model Type: Synapse

Cell Type(s): Astrocyte

Currents: I Calcium; Kir; I Potassium

Receptors: Glutamate; Ion Receptors; NMDA; IP3

Transmitters: Glutamate; NO

Model Concept(s): Calcium dynamics; Potassium buffering

Simulation Environment: MATLAB

Implementer(s): Kenny, Allanah [allanah.kenny at pg.canterbury.ac.nz]; David, Tim


Farr H, David T. (2011). Models of neurovascular coupling via potassium and EET signalling. Journal of theoretical biology. 286 [PubMed]

Dormanns K, van Disseldorp EM, Brown RG, David T. (2015). Neurovascular coupling and the influence of luminal agonists via the endothelium. Journal of theoretical biology. 364 [PubMed]

Dormanns K, Brown RG, David T. (2016). The role of nitric oxide in neurovascular coupling. Journal of theoretical biology. 394 [PubMed]

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