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Biophys J. 2008 Aug;95(4):1689-703. doi: 10.1529/biophysj.107.125948. Epub 2008 May 16.

Moment closure for local control models of calcium-induced calcium release in cardiac myocytes.

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Department of Applied Science, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA.


In prior work, we introduced a probability density approach to modeling local control of Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release in cardiac myocytes, where we derived coupled advection-reaction equations for the time-dependent bivariate probability density of subsarcolemmal subspace and junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) [Ca2+] conditioned on Ca2+ release unit (CaRU) state. When coupled to ordinary differential equations (ODEs) for the bulk myoplasmic and network SR [Ca2+], a realistic but minimal model of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling was produced that avoids the computationally demanding task of resolving spatial aspects of global Ca2+ signaling, while accurately representing heterogeneous local Ca2+ signals in a population of diadic subspaces and junctional SR depletion domains. Here we introduce a computationally efficient method for simulating such whole cell models when the dynamics of subspace [Ca2+] are much faster than those of junctional SR [Ca2+]. The method begins with the derivation of a system of ODEs describing the time-evolution of the moments of the univariate probability density functions for junctional SR [Ca2+] jointly distributed with CaRU state. This open system of ODEs is then closed using an algebraic relationship that expresses the third moment of junctional SR [Ca2+] in terms of the first and second moments. In simulated voltage-clamp protocols using 12-state CaRUs that respond to the dynamics of both subspace and junctional SR [Ca2+], this moment-closure approach to simulating local control of excitation-contraction coupling produces high-gain Ca2+ release that is graded with changes in membrane potential, a phenomenon not exhibited by common pool models. Benchmark simulations indicate that the moment-closure approach is nearly 10,000-times more computationally efficient than corresponding Monte Carlo simulations while leading to nearly identical results. We conclude by applying the moment-closure approach to study the restitution of Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release during simulated two-pulse voltage-clamp protocols.

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