Spontaneous calcium (Ca 2+) oscillations (SCOs) in astrocytes might be a crucial signaling for the multipurpose role of this type of cell in several brain functions. To interpret experimental data of astrocytic SCOs, which has been largely observed in the last decade, several groups have attempted to accommodate biophysical models that were developed in the past for Ca 2+ signaling in other cell types. In most of the cases, only predictive strategies were used to estimate specific parameters of these modified models from actual experiments. In this study, we discuss the most remarkable models used to describe Ca 2+ signaling in astrocytes. At the same time, we aim to revise the particulars of applying these models to interpret epifluorescent time series obtained from large regions of interest. Specially, we developed a detailed model for global Ca 2+ signaling in the somata of astrocytes. In order to estimate some of the parameters in our model, we propose a deductive reasoning strategy, i.e., a statistical inference method that results from combining a filtering technique and a maximum likelihood principle. By means of computer simulations, we evaluate the accuracy of this estimation's strategy. Finally, we use the new model, in combination with a recent experimental findings by our group, to estimate the degree of cluster coupling inside the soma during the genesis of global Ca 2+ events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas