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J Theor Biol. 2000 Dec 21;207(4):513-30.

Channel sharing in pancreatic beta -cells revisited: enhancement of emergent bursting by noise.

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1
Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2G1, Canada.

Abstract

Secretion of insulin by electrically coupled populations of pancreatic beta -cells is governed by bursting electrical activity. Isolated beta -cells, however, exhibit atypical bursting or continuous spike activity. We study bursting as an emergent property of the population, focussing on interactions among the subclass of spiking cells. These are modelled by equipping the fast subsystem with a saddle-node-loop bifurcation, which makes it monostable. Such cells can only spike tonically or remain silent when isolated, but can be induced to burst with weak diffusive coupling. With stronger coupling, the cells revert to tonic spiking. We demonstrate that the addition of noise dramatically increases, via a phenomenon like stochastic resonance, the coupling range over which bursting is seen.

PMID:
11093836
DOI:
10.1006/jtbi.2000.2193
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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