From Perception Threshold to Ion Channels-A Computational Study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Small-surface-area electrodes have successfully been used to preferentially activate cutaneous nociceptors, unlike conventional large area-electrodes, which preferentially activate large non-nociceptor fibers. Assessments of the strength-duration relationship, threshold electrotonus, and slowly increasing pulse forms have displayed different perception thresholds between large and small surface electrodes, which may indicate different excitability properties of the activated cutaneous nerves. In this study, the origin of the differences in perception thresholds between the two electrodes was investigated. It was hypothesized that different perception thresholds could be explained by the varying distributions of voltage-gated ion channels and by morphological differences between peripheral nerve endings of small and large fibers. A two-part computational model was developed to study activation of peripheral nerve fibers by different cutaneous electrodes. The first part of the model was a finite-element model, which calculated the extracellular field delivered by the cutaneous electrodes. The second part of the model was a detailed multicompartment model of an Aδ-axon as well as an Aβ-axon. The axon models included a wide range of voltage-gated ion channels: NaTTXs, NaTTXr, Nap, Kdr, KM, KA, and HCN channel. The computational model reproduced the experimentally assessed perception thresholds for the three protocols, the strength-duration relationship, the threshold electrotonus, and the slowly increasing pulse forms. The results support the hypothesis that voltage-gated ion channel distributions and morphology differences between small and large fibers were sufficient to explain the difference in perception thresholds between the two electrodes. In conclusion, assessments of perception thresholds using the three protocols may be an indirect measurement of the membrane excitability, and computational models may have the possibility to link voltage-gated ion channel activation to perception threshold measurements.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume117
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)281-295
Number of pages15
ISSN0006-3495
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2019

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Ion Channels
Electrodes
Axons
Skin
Peripheral Nerves
Nociceptors
Nerve Endings
Nerve Fibers
Membranes

Cite this

@article{dc28f55839024603b5dcef7f6c03174d,
title = "From Perception Threshold to Ion Channels-A Computational Study",
abstract = "Small-surface-area electrodes have successfully been used to preferentially activate cutaneous nociceptors, unlike conventional large area-electrodes, which preferentially activate large non-nociceptor fibers. Assessments of the strength-duration relationship, threshold electrotonus, and slowly increasing pulse forms have displayed different perception thresholds between large and small surface electrodes, which may indicate different excitability properties of the activated cutaneous nerves. In this study, the origin of the differences in perception thresholds between the two electrodes was investigated. It was hypothesized that different perception thresholds could be explained by the varying distributions of voltage-gated ion channels and by morphological differences between peripheral nerve endings of small and large fibers. A two-part computational model was developed to study activation of peripheral nerve fibers by different cutaneous electrodes. The first part of the model was a finite-element model, which calculated the extracellular field delivered by the cutaneous electrodes. The second part of the model was a detailed multicompartment model of an Aδ-axon as well as an Aβ-axon. The axon models included a wide range of voltage-gated ion channels: NaTTXs, NaTTXr, Nap, Kdr, KM, KA, and HCN channel. The computational model reproduced the experimentally assessed perception thresholds for the three protocols, the strength-duration relationship, the threshold electrotonus, and the slowly increasing pulse forms. The results support the hypothesis that voltage-gated ion channel distributions and morphology differences between small and large fibers were sufficient to explain the difference in perception thresholds between the two electrodes. In conclusion, assessments of perception thresholds using the three protocols may be an indirect measurement of the membrane excitability, and computational models may have the possibility to link voltage-gated ion channel activation to perception threshold measurements.",
author = "Jenny Tigerholm and Poulsen, {Aida Hejlskov} and Andersen, {Ole K{\ae}seler} and M{\o}rch, {Carsten Dahl}",
note = "Copyright {\circledC} 2019 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.",
year = "2019",
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From Perception Threshold to Ion Channels-A Computational Study. / Tigerholm, Jenny; Poulsen, Aida Hejlskov; Andersen, Ole Kæseler; Mørch, Carsten Dahl.

In: Biophysical Journal, Vol. 117, No. 2, 23.07.2019, p. 281-295.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - From Perception Threshold to Ion Channels-A Computational Study

AU - Tigerholm, Jenny

AU - Poulsen, Aida Hejlskov

AU - Andersen, Ole Kæseler

AU - Mørch, Carsten Dahl

N1 - Copyright © 2019 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PY - 2019/7/23

Y1 - 2019/7/23

N2 - Small-surface-area electrodes have successfully been used to preferentially activate cutaneous nociceptors, unlike conventional large area-electrodes, which preferentially activate large non-nociceptor fibers. Assessments of the strength-duration relationship, threshold electrotonus, and slowly increasing pulse forms have displayed different perception thresholds between large and small surface electrodes, which may indicate different excitability properties of the activated cutaneous nerves. In this study, the origin of the differences in perception thresholds between the two electrodes was investigated. It was hypothesized that different perception thresholds could be explained by the varying distributions of voltage-gated ion channels and by morphological differences between peripheral nerve endings of small and large fibers. A two-part computational model was developed to study activation of peripheral nerve fibers by different cutaneous electrodes. The first part of the model was a finite-element model, which calculated the extracellular field delivered by the cutaneous electrodes. The second part of the model was a detailed multicompartment model of an Aδ-axon as well as an Aβ-axon. The axon models included a wide range of voltage-gated ion channels: NaTTXs, NaTTXr, Nap, Kdr, KM, KA, and HCN channel. The computational model reproduced the experimentally assessed perception thresholds for the three protocols, the strength-duration relationship, the threshold electrotonus, and the slowly increasing pulse forms. The results support the hypothesis that voltage-gated ion channel distributions and morphology differences between small and large fibers were sufficient to explain the difference in perception thresholds between the two electrodes. In conclusion, assessments of perception thresholds using the three protocols may be an indirect measurement of the membrane excitability, and computational models may have the possibility to link voltage-gated ion channel activation to perception threshold measurements.

AB - Small-surface-area electrodes have successfully been used to preferentially activate cutaneous nociceptors, unlike conventional large area-electrodes, which preferentially activate large non-nociceptor fibers. Assessments of the strength-duration relationship, threshold electrotonus, and slowly increasing pulse forms have displayed different perception thresholds between large and small surface electrodes, which may indicate different excitability properties of the activated cutaneous nerves. In this study, the origin of the differences in perception thresholds between the two electrodes was investigated. It was hypothesized that different perception thresholds could be explained by the varying distributions of voltage-gated ion channels and by morphological differences between peripheral nerve endings of small and large fibers. A two-part computational model was developed to study activation of peripheral nerve fibers by different cutaneous electrodes. The first part of the model was a finite-element model, which calculated the extracellular field delivered by the cutaneous electrodes. The second part of the model was a detailed multicompartment model of an Aδ-axon as well as an Aβ-axon. The axon models included a wide range of voltage-gated ion channels: NaTTXs, NaTTXr, Nap, Kdr, KM, KA, and HCN channel. The computational model reproduced the experimentally assessed perception thresholds for the three protocols, the strength-duration relationship, the threshold electrotonus, and the slowly increasing pulse forms. The results support the hypothesis that voltage-gated ion channel distributions and morphology differences between small and large fibers were sufficient to explain the difference in perception thresholds between the two electrodes. In conclusion, assessments of perception thresholds using the three protocols may be an indirect measurement of the membrane excitability, and computational models may have the possibility to link voltage-gated ion channel activation to perception threshold measurements.

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U2 - 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.04.041

DO - 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.04.041

M3 - Journal article

VL - 117

SP - 281

EP - 295

JO - Biophysical Journal

JF - Biophysical Journal

SN - 0006-3495

IS - 2

ER -