Multiscale simulation of the striatal medium spiny neuron (Mattioni & Le Novere 2013)

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"… We present a new event-driven algorithm to synchronize different neuronal models, which decreases computational time and avoids superfluous synchronizations. The algorithm is implemented in the TimeScales framework. We demonstrate its use by simulating a new multiscale model of the Medium Spiny Neuron of the Neostriatum. The model comprises over a thousand dendritic spines, where the electrical model interacts with the respective instances of a biochemical model. Our results show that a multiscale model is able to exhibit changes of synaptic plasticity as a result of the interaction between electrical and biochemical signaling. …"
1 . Mattioni M, Le Novère N (2013) Integration of biochemical and electrical signaling-multiscale model of the medium spiny neuron of the striatum. PLoS One 8:e66811 [PubMed]
Model Information (Click on a link to find other models with that property)
Model Type: Neuron or other electrically excitable cell; Synapse;
Brain Region(s)/Organism: Striatum;
Cell Type(s): Neostriatum medium spiny direct pathway GABA cell;
Channel(s): I Na,p; I Na,t; I T low threshold; I A; I K,Ca; I CAN; I Calcium; I A, slow; I Krp; I R; I Q;
Gap Junctions:
Gene(s): Kv4.2 KCND2; Kv1.2 KCNA2; Cav1.3 CACNA1D; Cav1.2 CACNA1C; Kv2.1 KCNB1;
Simulation Environment: NEURON; Python;
Model Concept(s): Synaptic Plasticity; Signaling pathways; Calcium dynamics; Multiscale;
Implementer(s): Mattioni, Michele [mattioni at];
Search NeuronDB for information about:  Neostriatum medium spiny direct pathway GABA cell; I Na,p; I Na,t; I T low threshold; I A; I K,Ca; I CAN; I Calcium; I A, slow; I Krp; I R; I Q;
# Author Michele Mattioni
# Fri Oct 23 15:41:58 BST 2009

import pylab
import numpy as np
from numpy import sin, exp
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from helpers.loader import Loader


class FitHandler(object):
    """Fit the data with a polynomial"""
    def fit(self, data, terms):
       polycoeffs = np.polyfit(data.x, data.y, terms)
       poly = np.poly1d(polycoeffs)
       return poly
    def plot_poly(self, pfit):
        plt.plot(data.x, pfit(data.x), label="poly %i" %pfit.order)
    def fit_and_plot(self, data, order):
        p =, order)
        return p
    def plot_data(self, data):
       plt.plot(data.x, data.y, 'k.', label="data")
       plt.xlabel("Distance from the soma [um]")
       plt.ylabel("Surface Area [um]/Dendritic Lenght [um^2]")
    def integrate_till_value(self, x0, value, poly, increment, 
        """Integrate the polynomial from x0 to the value required
            x0: starting point for the integration
            value: objective value to reach
            poly: polynomial to use to calculate
            x1: ending point of the integration
        delta = 0
        x1 = x0
        while value >= delta:
            x1 += increment
            delta = poly(x1)/scale_branch - poly(x0)/scale_branch
        return (x1, delta)
    def calc_spines_pos(self, cursor_list, x1_list):
        """Calculate the spines position, returning the mid point 
        of the interval from the two list."""
        mid_points = []
        for i, el in enumerate(cursor_list):
            mid_point = cursor_list[i] + (x1_list[i] - cursor_list[i])/2
        return mid_points

if __name__ == "__main__":
    from scipy.optimize import leastsq
    data = pylab.csv2rec('spines_distribution_Wilson_1992.csv')
    pfh = FitHandler()
    order = 17
    pfit = pfh.fit_and_plot(data, order)
    plt.title("Fitting the data")
    # Integrating
    pInteg = pfit.integ()
    plt.title("Integral area")
    # We get the area per number of branch (4):
    scale_branch = 4
    area_per_branch = pInteg(data.x)/scale_branch
    plt.plot(data.x, area_per_branch, label='area branch')
    # Calculating the spine dimension
    Procedure to get this right:
    - Compute the total surface from Wolf of all the spines
        # 1525 spines total, 381 per branch
    - Rescale the whole surface Wolf spines surface to the Wilson one
    - Compute the spine equivalent surface Wilson2Wolf 
    - Integrate until the surface in the Wilson world match one spine surface
    - take the (x_end - x_start)/2 position
    - iterate 
    spine_Wolf = 6.35 # um^2
    total_number_spines = 1525
    spines_per_branch = 381
    total_Wolf = spines_per_branch * spine_Wolf
    total_Wilson = pInteg(220)/scale_branch #Value of the integral at the last bit
    # spine_Wolf : spine_Wilson = total_Wolf : total_Wilson
    spine_Wilson = (spine_Wolf * total_Wilson)/ total_Wolf
    increment =0.001

    cursor = 0 
    cursor_list = []
    x1_list = []
    delta_list = []
    print "Calculating the spines' position. It will take a bit."
    while cursor <= data.x[-1]:
            x1, delta = pfh.integrate_till_value(cursor, spine_Wilson, pInteg, 
                             increment, scale_branch)
            cursor = x1 # Resetting the cursor to the x1
    spines_pos = pfh.calc_spines_pos(cursor_list, x1_list)
    plt.hist(spines_pos, bins=30)
    plt.title("spines distribution for branch")
    #filename = 'spines_pos.pickle'
    #l = Loader(), '.', filename)

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