Brain energetics plays a key role in the coordination of electrophysiology, metabolism and hemodynamics: evidence from an integrated computational model
Capo Rangel G.
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The energetic needs of brain cells at rest and during elevated neuronal activation has been the topic of many investigations where mathematical models have played a significant role providing a context for the interpretation of experimental findings. A recently proposed mathematical model, comprising a double feedback between cellular metabolism and electrophysiology, sheds light on the interconnections between the electrophysiological details associated with changes in the frequency of neuronal firing and the corresponding metabolic activity. We propose a new extended mathematical model comprising a three-way feedback connecting metabolism, electrophysiology and hemodynamics. Upon specifying the time intervals of higher neuronal activation, the model generates a potassium based signal leading to the concomitant increase in cerebral blood flow with associated vasodilation and metabolic changes needed to sustain the increased energy demand. The predictions of the model are in good qualitative and quantitative agreement with experimental findings reported in the literature, even predicting a slow after-hyperpolarization of a duration of approximately 16 s matching experimental observations.