How does the ryanodine receptor in the ventricular myocyte wake up: by a single or by multiple open L-type Ca(2+) channels?


  • T. Schendel
  • R. Thul
  • J. Sneyd
  • M. Falcke


  • European Biophysics Journal


  • Eur Biophys J 41 (1): 27-39


  • We study here the early stage of Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) in the diadic cleft of cardiac ventricular myocytes. A crucial question for this mechanism is whether the activation of the ryanodine receptors (RyRs) is triggered by one or by multiple open L-type Ca(2+) channels (LCCs). We address the problem through a modelling approach that allows us to investigate both possibilities. The model is based on a spatially resolved description of a Ca(2+) release unit (CaRU), consisting of the junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum and the diadic cleft, with well-defined channel placement. By taking advantage of largely varying time scales of the Ca(2+) dynamics in the diadic cleft, the governing equations can be reduced to one ordinary differential equation that describes the Ca(2+) fluxes, the electric field due to surface charges and diffusion. Our study shows that the mechanisms of the early stage of CICR shape measurable properties of CICR in a characteristic way. From here we conclude that the activation of RyRs requires multiple open LCCs.