Simulations of Myenteric Neuron Dynamics in Response to Mechanical Stretch

Donghua Liao, Jingbo Zhao, Hans Gregersen

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Background: Intestinal sensitivity to mechanical stimuli has been studied intensively in visceral pain studies. The ability to sense different stimuli in the gut and translate these to physiological outcomes relies on the mechanosensory and transductive capacity of intrinsic intestinal nerves. However, the nature of the mechanosensitive channels and principal mechanical stimulus for mechanosensitive receptors are unknown. To be able to characterize intestinal mechanoelectrical transduction, that is, the molecular basis of mechanosensation, comprehensive mathematical models to predict responses of the sensory neurons to controlled mechanical stimuli are needed. This study aims to develop a biophysically based mathematical model of the myenteric neuron with the parameters constrained by learning from existing experimental data. Findings. The conductance-based single-compartment model was selected. The parameters in the model were optimized by using a combination of hand tuning and automated estimation. Using the optimized parameters, the model successfully predicted the electrophysiological features of the myenteric neurons with and without mechanical stimulation.

Conclusions: The model provides a method to predict features and levels of detail of the underlying physiological system in generating myenteric neuron responses. The model could be used as building blocks in future large-scale network simulations of intrinsic primary afferent neurons and their network.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8834651
JournalComputational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2020


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