Simplified calcium signaling cascade for synaptic plasticity

Vladimir Kornijcuk, Dohun Kim, Guhyun Kim, Doo Seok Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


We propose a model for synaptic plasticity based on a calcium signaling cascade. The model simplifies the full signaling pathways from a calcium influx to the phosphorylation (potentiation) and dephosphorylation (depression) of glutamate receptors that are gated by fictive C1 and C2 catalysts, respectively. This model is based on tangible chemical reactions, including fictive catalysts, for long-term plasticity rather than the conceptual theories commonplace in various models, such as preset thresholds of calcium concentration. Our simplified model successfully reproduced the experimental synaptic plasticity induced by different protocols such as (i) a synchronous pairing protocol and (ii) correlated presynaptic and postsynaptic action potentials (APs). Further, the ocular dominance plasticity (or the experimental verification of the celebrated Bienenstock—Cooper—Munro theory) was reproduced by two model synapses that compete by means of back-propagating APs (bAPs). The key to this competition is synapse-specific bAPs with reference to bAP-boosting on the physiological grounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-51
Number of pages14
JournalNeural Networks
StatePublished - 2020 Mar


  • Back-propagating action potential boost
  • Calcium signaling cascade
  • Synaptic competition
  • Synaptic plasticity

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