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Published July 1, 1994 | Published
Journal Article Open

Linearized models of calcium dynamics: formal equivalence to the cable equation


The dynamics of calcium and other diffusible second messengers play an important role in intracellular signaling. We show here the conditions under which nonlinear equations governing the diffusion, extrusion, and buffering of calcium can be linearized. Because the resulting partial differential equation is formally identical to the one-dimensional cable equation, quantities analogous to the input resistance, space constant, and time constant--familiar from the study of passive electrical propagation--can be defined. Using simulated calcium dynamics in an infinite cable and in a dendritic spine as examples, we bound the errors due to the linearization, and show that parameter uncertainty is so large that most nonlinearities can usually be

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© 1994 by Society for Neuroscience. Received July 15, 1993; revised Dec. 27, 1993; accepted Jan. 13, 1994.

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September 15, 2023
September 15, 2023