Volume 9 Supplement 1
Calcium sensor properties for activity-dependent homeostatic regulation of pyloric network rhythms in the lobster stomatogastric ganglion
© Günay et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008
Published: 11 July 2008
Homeostatic regulation has been proposed as a mechanism that can explain the robust behavior of central pattern generating (CPG) neural networks observed experimentally. CPG networks, such as the pyloric network in the stomatogastric ganglion (STG) of the lobster, generate stable patterns of activity in spite of constant molecular turnover and environmental changes. Although the sensing and acting components of regulation are not yet well understood, one likely scenario is that calcium-based activity sensors drive the regulation of intrinsic cellular and synaptic properties.
It has been shown that calcium can help maintain stable activity levels in individual model neurons , and pyloric rhythms in one network model . Remaining questions are: (1) whether calcium sensors work in different network model versions, and (2) what intrinsic properties of calcium sensors are important for distinguishing functional from non-functional activity patterns.
We tested an existing database of about 20 million simplified pyloric networks, constructed by varying the three LP, PY and AB/PD neuron models and their synaptic strengths , to see if calcium sensors can distinguish functional pyloric activity. Using a set of three sensors – a fast (F), slow (S) and DC (D) sensor – in each neuron, we reached an 88% success rate. Surprisingly, distinguishing the less restrictive set of pyloric-like networks  did not achieve a better rate. Nevertheless, networks with non-pyloric tonically firing neurons were easily distinguished.
This work is supported by 1 R01 NS054911-01A1 from NINDS.
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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.