TY - JOUR

T1 - Emergence of an optimal temperature in action-potential propagation through myelinated axons

AU - Song, Xinlin

AU - Wang, Hengtong

AU - Chen, Yong

AU - Lai, Ying Cheng

PY - 2019/9/30

Y1 - 2019/9/30

N2 - In biological organisms, an optimal temperature exists at which the system functioning is maximized or is most effective. To obtain a general and quantitative understanding of the emergence of the optimal temperature is a challenging task. We aim to gain insights into this significant problem in biological physics by addressing the problem of propagation of action potential in myelinated axons. In particular, we construct a Hodgkin-Huxley type of cortical, compartmental model to describe the nodes of Ranvier with coupling between a pair of neighboring compartments characterized by internodal conductance and investigate the effect of temperature on the propagation of the action potential. We conduct direct numerical simulations and develop a physical analysis by taking advantage of the spatially continuous approximation. We find that increasing the temperature requires a larger value of the critical internodal conductance for successful propagation. The striking finding is the spontaneous emergence of an optimal temperature in the sense that, for the propagation of a single action potential at a fixed value of the internodal conductance, the minimum average passage time for one node of Ranvier occurs at this temperature value. A remarkable phenomenon is that the value of the optimal temperature is similar to those of living biological systems observed in experiments.

AB - In biological organisms, an optimal temperature exists at which the system functioning is maximized or is most effective. To obtain a general and quantitative understanding of the emergence of the optimal temperature is a challenging task. We aim to gain insights into this significant problem in biological physics by addressing the problem of propagation of action potential in myelinated axons. In particular, we construct a Hodgkin-Huxley type of cortical, compartmental model to describe the nodes of Ranvier with coupling between a pair of neighboring compartments characterized by internodal conductance and investigate the effect of temperature on the propagation of the action potential. We conduct direct numerical simulations and develop a physical analysis by taking advantage of the spatially continuous approximation. We find that increasing the temperature requires a larger value of the critical internodal conductance for successful propagation. The striking finding is the spontaneous emergence of an optimal temperature in the sense that, for the propagation of a single action potential at a fixed value of the internodal conductance, the minimum average passage time for one node of Ranvier occurs at this temperature value. A remarkable phenomenon is that the value of the optimal temperature is similar to those of living biological systems observed in experiments.

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U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevE.100.032416

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevE.100.032416

M3 - Article

C2 - 31639929

AN - SCOPUS:85072986911

VL - 100

JO - Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics

JF - Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics

SN - 1539-3755

IS - 3

M1 - 032416

ER -