3 years ago

The role of glutamate in neuronal ion homeostasis: A case study of spreading depolarization

Jokūbas Žiburkus, Ghanim Ullah, Niklas Hübel, Mahshid S. Hosseini-Zare
Simultaneous changes in ion concentrations, glutamate, and cell volume together with exchange of matter between cell network and vasculature are ubiquitous in numerous brain pathologies. A complete understanding of pathological conditions as well as normal brain function, therefore, hinges on elucidating the molecular and cellular pathways involved in these mostly interdependent variations. In this paper, we develop the first computational framework that combines the Hodgkin–Huxley type spiking dynamics, dynamic ion concentrations and glutamate homeostasis, neuronal and astroglial volume changes, and ion exchange with vasculature into a comprehensive model to elucidate the role of glutamate uptake in the dynamics of spreading depolarization (SD)—the electrophysiological event underlying numerous pathologies including migraine, ischemic stroke, aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hematoma, and trauma. We are particularly interested in investigating the role of glutamate in the duration and termination of SD caused by K+ perfusion and oxygen-glucose deprivation. Our results demonstrate that glutamate signaling plays a key role in the dynamics of SD, and that impaired glutamate uptake leads to recovery failure of neurons from SD. We confirm predictions from our model experimentally by showing that inhibiting astrocytic glutamate uptake using TFB-TBOA nearly quadruples the duration of SD in layers 2-3 of visual cortical slices from juvenile rats. The model equations are either derived purely from first physical principles of electroneutrality, osmosis, and conservation of particles or a combination of these principles and known physiological facts. Accordingly, we claim that our approach can be used as a future guide to investigate the role of glutamate, ion concentrations, and dynamics cell volume in other brain pathologies and normal brain function.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005804

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