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Differences in action potential propagation in mechanosensitive and insensitive C-nociceptors - a modeling approach
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Computational Biology, CB.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0281-9450
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Computational Biology, CB.
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Computational Biology, CB.
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Computational Biology, CB.
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2012 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

C-fibers, unmyelinated afferent axons, convey information from the periphery of the nervous system to the spinal cord. They transmit signals originating from noxious stimulation evoking the sensations of itch and pain in the central nervous system. Different classes of C-fibers are characterized by functional, morphological and biochemical characteristics. In pain studies, a classification into mechano-insensitive (CMi) and mechano responsive fibers (CM) has proven useful as changes in proportions and response characteristics of these fibers have been observed in neuropathy patients (Weidner et al. 1999, 2000; Orstavik 2003, 2010). In this study, using computational modeling of a C-fiber, we have studied the possible contribution of different ion channel subtypes (Na-TTXs, Nav1.8, Nav1.9, Kdr, KA, KM, K(Na), h) as well as the Na/K-ATPase pump to conductive properties of C-fibers. In particular we investigated mechanisms that could generate the fiber-specific differences between CM and CMi fibers with regard to activity dependent slowing (ADS) and recovery cycles (RC). In our study we represent the axon by three cylindrical sections, one representing the peripheral thin end (branch, 2.5 cm), one the central part (parent, 10 cm) and a conical section between these (0.5 cm). In total 730 compartments are used. Temperature is set to 32 degrees C in branch and 37 degrees in parent sections. We represent variable ion concentrations of Na and K intra axonally, periaxonally and extracellularly, from which reversal potentials are calculated. We use ion channel models based on Hodgkin Huxley formalism. An ion pump (Na/K-ATPase) is included. We find that TTX-sensitive Na and Nav1.8 have the strongest influence on action potential conduction velocity as is expected since these are the major components of the rising phase of the action potential. Preliminary observations indicate that a small subset of Na and K currents play a key role in determining differences in activity dependent velocity changes (ADS) in the two fiber classes. We plan to also study contributions from morphological characteristics (superficial branch lengths) to activity dependent differences between the fiber classes (Schmidt et al. 2002). We further intend to investigate candidate ion channels which could play a role in changing the functional characteristics of a CMi fiber to that of a CM fiber. Our studies may provide insights into ionic changes underlying changes in the excitability of C-fibers associated with pain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 67.13- p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-138890OAI: diva2:681908
Neuroscience 2012, Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Oct. 13 -17 2012, New Orleans

QC 20150330

Available from: 2013-12-20 Created: 2013-12-20 Last updated: 2015-03-30Bibliographically approved

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Fransén, ErikPetersson, Marcus E.Tigerholm, JennyAndersson, Sten
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