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Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 230–249

First Online: 13 January 2015Received: 12 September 2014Accepted: 18 December 2014DOI: 10.1007-s11538-014-0058-0

Cite this article as: Postnov, D.E., Neganova, A.Y., Sosnovtseva, O.V. et al. Bull Math Biol 2015 77: 230. doi:10.1007-s11538-014-0058-0


Conducted vasodilation is part of the physiological response to increasing metabolic demand of the tissue. Similar responses can be elicited by focal electrical or chemical stimulation. Some evidence suggests an endothelial pathway for nondecremental transmission of hyperpolarizing pulses. However, the underlying mechanisms are debated. Here, we focus on dynamical aspects of the problem hypothesizing the existence of a bistability-powered mechanism for regenerative pulse transmission along the endothelium. Bistability implies that the cell can have two different stable resting potentials and can switch between those states following an appropriate stimulus. Bistability is possible if the current–voltage curve is N shaped instead of monotonically increasing. Specifically, the presence of an inwardly rectifying potassium current may provide the endothelial cell with such properties. We provide a theoretical analysis as well as numerical simulations of both single- and multiunit bistable systems mimicking endothelial cells to investigate the self-consistence and stability of the proposed mechanism. We find that the individual cell may switch readily between two stable potentials. An array of coupled cells, however, as found in the vascular wall, requires a certain adaptation of the membrane currents after a switch, in order to switch back. Although the formulation is generic, we suggest a combination of specific membrane currents that could underlie the phenomenon.

KeywordsEndothelial cell Conducted vasodilation Membrane potential Bistability  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: D. E. Postnov - A. Y. Neganova - O. V. Sosnovtseva - N.-H. Holstein-Rathlou - J. C. Brings Jacobsen


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