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Fast and Slow Coupling in the Circadian Clock

Mathematical Biology

Speaker: Daniel DeWoskin, University of Michigan
Location: 3106 MSB
Start time: Mon, Jan 5 2015, 11:00AM

The mammalian circadian (daily) clock is controlled by the ~20,000 neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). While the molecular mechanisms for generating rhythms in individual SCN neurons are well characterized, single-cell rhythms are weak and noisy, and it is still unknown how they are integrated to produce robust rhythms at the tissue level. To investigate this, we develop a highly detailed, multicellular, and multi-scale model of the SCN, able to simulate both the electrical activity, at the scale of individual ionic currents and action potentials, and molecular clock rhythms, at the level of individual protein and complex concentrations, in every cell of the SCN. The model is used to make and test predictions about the differential roles of fast synaptic coupling and slower paracrine signaling in synchronizing neurons as well as encoding light information in the SCN.