A Neuron Model Including Gene Expression: Bistability, Long-Term Memory, etc
Journal article, 2014
Acquisition, consolidation and reconsolidation of long-term memories include changes in gene expression in neurons. The understanding of the corresponding mechanistic details is still far from complete even on the conceptual level. Here, the author proposes a generic kinetic model describing a global interplay between the function of membrane ion channels and gene expression, including gene transcription into mRNA and mRNA translation into protein. The model, based partly on the Hindmarsh-Rose neuron model for membrane voltage, implies feedbacks between these processes. Specifically, the gene transcription is considered to depend on membrane voltage due to the corresponding dependence of one of the transcription factors. The number or efficiency of function of ion channels is in turn assumed to depend on the protein population. With these feedbacks, the model predicts either a single steady state or bistability. The bistable regimes are briefly discussed in the context of long-term memory.
Mean-field kinetic equations