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Computationally Efficient Strategy for Modeling the Effect of Ion Current Modifiers

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4 Author(s)
Rand, D.G. ; Harvard Univ., Cambridge ; Qinlian Zhou ; Buzzard, G.T. ; Fox, J.J.

Electrophysiological studies often seek to relate changes in ion current properties caused by a chemical modifier to changes in cellular properties. Therefore, quantifying concentration-dependent effects of modifiers on ion currents is a topic of importance. In this paper, we sought a mathematical method for using ion current data to predict the effect of several theoretical ion current modifiers on cellular and tissue properties that is computationally efficient without compromising predictive power. We focused on the current as an example case due to its link to long QT syndrome and arrhythmias, but these methods should be generally applicable to other electrophysiological studies. We compared predictions using a Markov model with mass action binding of the modifiers to specific conformational states of the channel to predictions generated by two simplified models. We investigated scaling conductance, and found that although this method produced predictions that agreed qualitatively with the more complicated model, it did not generate quantitatively consistent predictions for all modifiers tested. Our simulations showed that a more computationally efficient Hodgkin-Huxley model that incorporates the effect of modifiers through functional changes in the current produced quantitatively consistent predictions of concentration-dependent changes in cell and tissue properties for all modifiers tested.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 1 )