Stochastic coupled map model of subcellular calcium cycling in cardiac cells

Luis RomeroYohannes Shiferaw


In this study, we analyze a nonlinear map model of intracellular calcium (Ca) and voltage in cardiac cells. In this model, Ca release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) occurs at spatially distributed dyadic junctions that are diffusively coupled. At these junctions, release occurs with a probability that depends on key variables such as the SR load and the diastolic interval. Using this model, we explore how nonlinearity and stochasticity determine the spatial distribution of Ca release events within a cardiac cell. In particular, we identify a novel synchronization transition, which occurs at rapid pacing rates, in which the global Ca transient transitions from a period 2 response to a period 1 response. In the global period 2 response dyadic junctions fire in unison, on average, on alternate beats, while in the period 1 regime, Ca release at individual dyads is highly irregular. A close examination of the spatial distribution of Ca reveals that in the period 1 regime, the system coarsens into spatially out-of-phase regions with a length scale much smaller than the system size, but larger than the spacing between dyads. We have also explored in detail the coupling to membrane voltage. We study first the case of positive cou...Continue Reading


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