Theoretical Study of the Function of the IP3 Receptor / BK Channel Complex in a Single Neuron

  • María Eugenia Pérez Bonilla Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
  • Marleni Reyes Monreal Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
  • Jessica Quintero Pérez Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
  • Miguel Pérez Escalera Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
  • Arturo Reyes Lazalde Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
Keywords: BK channels, IP3 receptor, Ca2 microdomains, Single neuron simulations, SERCA pump


Large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels carry out many functions in the central nervous system. The opening of BK channels requires a rise in the cytosolic calcium ([Ca2+]cyt) concentration, which can occur in two ways: calcium influx from voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) located on the plasma membrane and calcium efflux through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane to the cytosol triggered by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptors (IP3-Rs) and ryanodine receptors (RyRs). The BK channel/IP3-R/RyR interaction has been widely reported in smooth muscle but scarce information exist on neurons, where its presence is uncertain. The aim of this study was to develop a computational model of a neuron to replicate the interaction between the release of Ca2+ from the ER (through IP3-Rs and RyRs) and the opening of BK channels on the plasma membrane to regulate the level of [Ca2+]cyt, based on the Hodgkin-Huxley formalism and the Goldbeter model. The mathematical models were implemented on Visual Basic® and differential equations were solved numerically. Various conditions of BK conductance and the efflux of endoplasmic Ca2+ were explored. The results show that an abrupt increase in [Ca2+]cyt (≥ 5 mM) activates the BK channels and either pauses or stops the action potential train.


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Author Biographies

María Eugenia Pérez Bonilla, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

María Eugenia Pérez Bonilla got her Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Physiology from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. She has a doctorate in experimental pathology from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the Instituto Politecnico Nacional. She is part of a multidisciplinary group with an interest in development of interactive software for education and research in biomedical sciences.

Marleni Reyes Monreal, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

Marleni Reyes Monreal is a computer technician, she received her Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design and her Master Degree in Aesthetics and Art from Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. She has a Master Degree in Educational Technology (multimedia design and simulators) and she is currently working to obtain her doctorate in Ecoeducation (simulators) and a second one in History (Art). She is part of a multidisciplinary group with an interest in the design and aesthetic development of interactive software for education and research.

Jessica Quintero Pérez, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

Jessica Quintero Pérez has a degree in Physiotherapy from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. He has a master's degree in Manual Physiotherapy of the Locomotor System from the Universidad de Alcalá in Madrid, Spain. She is a PhD candidate in the Biomechanics and Bioengineering applied to health program at the University of Alcalá in Madrid, Spain. Active teacher of the Degree in Physiotherapy at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. Professor of the Diploma in Physiotherapy in Cervical-Temporomandibular Disorders at the Universidad Cuauhtémoc, Querétaro. Teacher and monitor of the Master's degree in Manual Physiotherapy of the Locomotor System, Mexico 2017-2020 headquarters. Speaker and workshop leader in national and international Physiotherapy congresses. She is part of a multidisciplinary group with an interest in the development of interactive software for education and research in Biomedical Sciences.

Miguel Pérez Escalera, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

Miguel Pérez Escalera got his Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, he has a Master Degree in Computer Science from the same institution and he is working for his doctorate, also in Computer Science in Universidad de las Americas Puebla. He is part of a multidisciplinary group with an interest in the development of interactive software and 3D systems for education and research.

Arturo Reyes Lazalde, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

Arturo Reyes Lazalde received his Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Physiology from Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. He has a doctorate in basic biomedical research (neuroscience) from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He is part of a multidisciplinary group with an interest in the development of interactive software for education and research in biomedical sciences.


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How to Cite
Pérez Bonilla, M. E., Reyes Monreal, M., Quintero Pérez, J., Pérez Escalera, M., & Reyes Lazalde, A. (2021). Theoretical Study of the Function of the IP3 Receptor / BK Channel Complex in a Single Neuron. Mexican Journal of Biomedical Engineering, 42(2), 15-31. Retrieved from
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