Peter J Brumm

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Spatially-Resolute Computational Kinetic Modeling of Actin-dependent Postsynaptic Density (PSD) Organization and Structuring

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As the brain receives information, electro-chemical current travels through and between brain cells (neurons), relaying information to be processed and stored. Between two single cells, the theory of synaptic plasticity poses that changes in the threshold of activation, depends on the activation parameters themselves, and provides one mechanism the brain may use to direct and store information. NMDAR-dependent processes in the wellstudied dendritic spines of CA1 hippocampal neurons show a activity-dependent modulation through: (1) the number of ion-conducting AMPA receptor, as well as (2) geometric size/shape. This model will address the spatial regulation of synaptic plasticity. A space just below the synaptic cleft, called the Post Synaptic Density (PSD), contains a variety of signal-transducing proteins, and has been studied extensively in relation to changes in synaptic connection strength. While the multitude of constitutive (simplified) protein models have provided a great deal of insight into the mechanism of information storage, this work is limited by the lack of biologically realizable reaction kinetic data, as well as concentration and spatial assumptions. Relating actin-dependent spatial organization and structuring of the PSD will interrogate the spatial dependence of plastic signal transduction.

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