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Monday, July 20 • 9:00pm - 10:00pm
P49: Electro-diffusion of ions in dendritic signal transduction

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Yinyun Li, Alexander Dimitrov
link to zoom: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/8857577898?pwd=TmpGZzN4elVhT0ZGVG8xbjFSblhOQT09 

Electrical dynamics of cellular membranes is central to our understanding of information processing in neurons. Until recently, the physics of ionic dynamics was largely ignored[3,4]. Indeed, ionic concentrations are usually not significantly altered by the membrane conductance. However, their effects may be sizeable when the intracellular volume is relatively small[1,2]. More importantly, a sudden change in concentration at one location may lead to gradients of ionic concentrations within a neural process. In our work, we demonstrate some realistic neural processes in which this effect is significant. The Nernst-Planck equation of electro-diffusion was applied to a dendrite, and voltage-gated potassium and sodium channels are added into the system. The difference of dynamics of ions and membrane voltage between the condition with electro-diffusion and without electro-diffusion were collected and compared. We found the voltage is the main driving force for the membranous ion fluxes, and the feed back loop from ion concentrations to the membrane voltage may dramatically change the dynamics of the membrane voltage. When voltage-gated calcium influx and electro-diffusion was added into the system, the dynamics of potassium becomes dramatically different from the case without electro-diffusion. We conclude that the electro-diffusion of ions in a small volume may significantly change neural information processing in a non- linear effect.


This work is supported by the China Scholarship Council.


[1] Ning Qian and T.J.Sejnowski. An electro-diffusion model for computing membrane potentials and ionic concentrations in branching dendrites,spines and axons. Biol.Cybern.1989, Vol 62:1-15.

[2]Courtney L. Lopreore, Thomas M. Bartol, Jay S. Coggan, et.al. Computational modeling of three-dimentional electrodiffusion in biological systems: application to the Node of Ranvier. Biophysical Journal 2008, Vol 95:2624-2635 .

[3] Leonid P. Savtchenko, Mu Ming Poo and Dmitri A. Rusakov. Electrodiffusion phenomena in neuroscience: a neglected companion. Nature Reviews 2017, Vol 18: 598-612

[4] Andreas Solbra, Aslak Wigdahl Bergersen, Jonas van den Brink, et.al. A Kirchhoff-Nernst-Planck framework for modeling large scale extracellular electrodiffusion surrongding morphologically detailed neurons. PLoS Computational Biology 2018 14(10):e1006510.

avatar for Yinyun Li

Yinyun Li

School of Systems Science, Beijing Normal University
I am graduated from Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio Unviersity, Athens OH, majoring in biophysics, and spent two years in Georg-August University Goettingen, Germany for my postdoc training. I am interested in the field of biophysical mechanism of synaptic plasticity and... Read More →

Monday July 20, 2020 9:00pm - 10:00pm CEST
Slot 17