A model of the rat phrenic motor neuron

Behrang Amini, Akhil Bidani, Joseph B. Zwischenberger, John W. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We have developed a model for the rat phrenic motor neuron (PMN) that robustly replicates many experimentally observed behaviors of PMNs in response to pharmacological, ionic, and electrical perturbations using a single set of parameters. Our model suggests that the after-depolarization (ADP) response seen in action potentials is a result of the slow deactivation of the fast sodium channel in the range of the ADP coupled with the activation of the L-type calcium channel (ICaL). This current and its interactions with the small and large conductance calcium-activated potassium currents (I KCaSK and IKCaBK, respectively) is also important in the generation of spike frequency adaptation in the repetitive firing mode of activity. Other aspects of the model conform very well to experimental observations in both the action potential and repetitive firing mode of activity, including the role of IKCaSK in the medium after-hyperpolarization (AHP) and the role of IKCaBK in the fast AHP. We have made a number of predictions using the model, including the characterization of two putative sodium currents (fast and persistent), as well as functional roles for the N- and T-type calcium currents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1114
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received April 16, 2003. This work was supported by a training fellowship from the Keck Center for Computational and Structural Biology of the Gulf Coast Consortia under NLM Grant 5T15LM07093 and the Bioengineering Center at The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX. Asterisk indicates corresponding author. *B. Amini is with the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030 USA (e-mail: Behrang.Amini@uth.tmc.edu).


  • Bay K 8644
  • Biological system modeling
  • Calcium channel agonists
  • Hodgkin-Huxley models
  • Neural engineering
  • Respiratory system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A model of the rat phrenic motor neuron'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this