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Assessing different temporal scales of calcium dynamics in networks of beta cell populations
Jan Zmazek, Maša Skelin, Rene Markovič, Jurij Dolenšek, Marko Marhl, Andraž Stožer, Marko Gosak, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Beta cells within the pancreatic islets of Langerhans respond to stimulation with coherent oscillations of membrane potential and intracellular calcium concentration that presumably drive the pulsatile exocytosis of insulin. Their rhythmic activity is multimodal, resulting from networked feedback interactions of various oscillatory subsystems, such as the glycolytic, mitochondrial, and electrical/calcium components.How these oscillatory modules interact and affect the collective cellular activity, which is a prerequisite for proper hormone release, is incompletely understood. In the present work, we combined advanced confocal Ca2+ imaging in fresh mouse pancreas tissue slices with time series analysis and network science approaches to unveil the glucosedependent characteristics of different oscillatory components on both the intra- and inter-cellular level. Our results reveal an interrelationship between the metabolically driven low-frequency component and the electrically driven high-frequency component, with the latter exhibiting the highest bursting rates around the peaks of the slow component and the lowest around the nadirs. Moreover, the activity, as well as the average synchronicity of the fast component, considerably increased with increasing stimulatory glucose concentration, whereas the stimulation level did not affect any of these parameters in the slow component domain. Remarkably, in both dynamical components, the average correlation decreased similarly with intercellular distance, which implies that intercellular communication affects the synchronicity of both types of oscillations. To explore the intra-islet synchronization patterns in more detail, we constructed functional connectivity maps. The subsequent comparison of network characteristics of different oscillatory components showed more locally clustered and segregated networks of fast oscillatory activity, while the slow oscillations were more global, resulting in several long-range connections and a more cohesive structure. Besides the structural differences, we found a relatively weak relationship between the fast and slow network layer, which suggests that different synchronization mechanisms shape the collective cellular activity in islets, a finding which has to be kept in mind in future studies employing different oscillations for constructing networks.
Keywords: islets of Langerhans, beta cell network, calcium oscillations, multimodal activity analysis, confocal imaging, functional connectivity, multiplex network
Published in DKUM: 06.06.2024; Views: 114; Downloads: 4
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Critical and supercritical spatiotemporal calcium dynamics in beta cells
Marko Gosak, Andraž Stožer, Rene Markovič, Jurij Dolenšek, Matjaž Perc, Marjan Rupnik, Marko Marhl, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: A coordinated functioning of beta cells within pancreatic islets is mediated by oscillatory membrane depolarization and subsequent changes in cytoplasmic calcium concentration. While gap junctions allow for intraislet information exchange, beta cells within islets form complex syncytia that are intrinsically nonlinear and highly heterogeneous. To study spatiotemporal calcium dynamics within these syncytia, we make use of computational modeling and confocal high-speed functional multicellular imaging. We show that model predictions are in good agreement with experimental data, especially if a high degree of heterogeneity in the intercellular coupling term is assumed. In particular, during the first few minutes after stimulation, the probability distribution of calcium wave sizes is characterized by a power law, thus indicating critical behavior. After this period, the dynamics changes qualitatively such that the number of global intercellular calcium events increases to the point where the behavior becomes supercritical. To better mimic normal in vivo conditions, we compare the described behavior during supraphysiological non-oscillatory stimulation with the behavior during exposure to a slightly lower and oscillatory glucose challenge. In the case of this protocol, we observe only critical behavior in both experiment and model. Our results indicate that the loss of oscillatory changes, along with the rise in plasma glucose observed in diabetes, could be associated with a switch to supercritical calcium dynamics and loss of beta cell functionality.
Keywords: beta cells, islets of Langerhans, self-organized criticality, intercellular dynamics, calcium waves, glucose oscillations, computational model, confocal calcium imaging
Published in DKUM: 23.01.2018; Views: 1665; Downloads: 383
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