Stabilization of diastolic calcium signal via calcium pump regulation of complex local calcium releases and transient decay in a computational model of cardiac pacemaker cell with individual release channels
by Alexander V. Maltsev, Victor A. Maltsev, Michael D. SternIntracellular Local Ca releases (LCRs) from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) regulate cardiac pacemaker cell function by activation of electrogenic Na/Ca exchanger (NCX) during diastole. Prior studies demonstrated the existence of powerful compensatory mechanisms of LCR regulation via a complex local cross-talk of Ca pump, release and NCX. One major obstacle to study these mechanisms is that LCR exhibit complex Ca release propagation patterns (including merges and separations) that have not been characterized. Here we developed new terminology, classification, and computer algorithms for automatic detection of numerically simulated LCRs and examined LCR regulation by SR Ca pumping rate (Pup) that provides a major contribution to fight-or-flight response. In our simulations the faster SR Ca pumping accelerates action potential-induced Ca transient decay and quickly clears Ca under the cell membrane in diastole, preventing premature releases. Then the SR generates an earlier, more synchronized, and stronger diastolic LCR signal activating an earlier and larger inward NCX current. LCRs at higher Pup exhibit larger amplitudes and faster propagation with more collisions to each other. The LCRs overlap with Ca transient decay, causing an elevation of the average diastolic [Ca] nadir to ~200 nM (at Pup = 24 mM/s). Background Ca (in locations lacking LCRs) quickly decays to resting Ca levels (<100 nM) at high Pup, but remained elevated during slower decay at low Pup. Release propagation is facilitated at higher Pup by a larger LCR amplitude, whereas at low Pup by higher background Ca. While at low Pup LCRs show smaller amplitudes, their larger durations and sizes combined with longer transient decay stabilize integrals of diastolic Ca and NCX current signals. Thus, the local interplay of SR Ca pump and release channels regulates LCRs and Ca transient decay to insure fail-safe pacemaker cell operation within a wide range of rates.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article
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