2482 - AWCoN and RMD C. elegans neurons: a single-currents based biophysical model.
The Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system has been fully characterized in neurons number and connections, constituting a powerful and realistic framework for the study of neuronal system. Despite its great potential for computational neuroscience studies, much information is still missing about single neurons dynamics and inhibitory or excitatory nature of synaptic connections, mainly due to experimental difficulties related to the small size of the neurons (soma radius ~ 1 µm). In this context, biophysical models of single neuron dynamics could provide a useful tool to study the mechanisms at the basis of neuronal signals integration, generation, and transmission. In this work we show Hodgkin-Huxley models of the main ion currents, known to be involved in the nematode neuronal dynamics. Further, we combine these models, based on available experimental data and gene expression profiles, to reproduce the electrical activity of two neurons: the AWCON chemosensory neuron and the RMD motor neuron. Our results (M. Nicoletti et al., PLoS ONE 14, e0218738, 2019) highlight the pivotal role of T-type calcium channels and of passive membrane properties in determining the existence of different dynamical regimes in the neuronal activity, including bistable and oscillatory regimes. In conclusion, our models not only provide a detailed description of the two neurons' dynamic, but also gives the basis for single-cell and networks biophysical modeling, opening new perspectives in the in silico modeling of C. elegans nervous system.