Power-Law Dynamics of Membrane Conductances Increase Spiking Diversity in a Hodgkin-Huxley Model

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Authors Wondimu Teka, David Stockton, Fidel Santamaria
Journal/Conference Name PLoS Computational Biology
Paper Category , ,
Paper Abstract We studied the effects of non-Markovian power-law voltage dependent conductances on the generation of action potentials and spiking patterns in a Hodgkin-Huxley model. To implement slow-adapting power-law dynamics of the gating variables of the potassium, n, and sodium, m and h, conductances we used fractional derivatives of order η≤1. The fractional derivatives were used to solve the kinetic equations of each gate. We systematically classified the properties of each gate as a function of η. We then tested if the full model could generate action potentials with the different power-law behaving gates. Finally, we studied the patterns of action potential that emerged in each case. Our results show the model produces a wide range of action potential shapes and spiking patterns in response to constant current stimulation as a function of η. In comparison with the classical model, the action potential shapes for power-law behaving potassium conductance (n gate) showed a longer peak and shallow hyperpolarization; for power-law activation of the sodium conductance (m gate), the action potentials had a sharp rise time; and for power-law inactivation of the sodium conductance (h gate) the spikes had wider peak that for low values of η replicated pituitary- and cardiac-type action potentials. With all physiological parameters fixed a wide range of spiking patterns emerged as a function of the value of the constant input current and η, such as square wave bursting, mixed mode oscillations, and pseudo-plateau potentials. Our analyses show that the intrinsic memory trace of the fractional derivative provides a negative feedback mechanism between the voltage trace and the activity of the power-law behaving gate variable. As a consequence, power-law behaving conductances result in an increase in the number of spiking patterns a neuron can generate and, we propose, expand the computational capacity of the neuron.
Date of publication 2016
Code Programming Language MATLAB

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