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A three-dimensional model of intercellular signaling in epithelial cells

Andrew A. Quong, Christopher J. Mundy, Alison Kubota, Aaron Golumbfskie, and Albert Nichols
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, US

Keywords: cell signaling, epithelial cell, calcium

Nature has designed a highly regulated system for the transport of ions and small molecules across the epithelial barrier that separates the surfaces of the body from the external environment. These systems contain regulatory elements controlled by external and internal signals. In order to understand the complexity of these systems, we have developed a fully three-dimensional model of calcium signaling in epithelial cells. The model is based on a set of reaction diffusion equations that are solved on a large-scale finite-element code in three dimensions. We have explicitly included the major compartments in the cell. The model allows for buffering of free Ca2+, calcium induced calcium release (CICR), and for the explicit inclusion of mobile buffers, mimicking the dyes used in the experiments. Additionally we have included a realistic representation of the gap junctions that have a significant effect on the Ca2+ wave propagation. Furthermore, we have used the experimental images to generate a new mesh. Using this realistic geometry, we will present results for the Ca2+ wave propagation through the tissue as a function of the concentration of the dye, gap junction distribution, and IP3 concentration.

NSTI Nanotech 2003 Conference Technical Program Abstract

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