A mathematical model of cytosolic calcium dynamics in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

Theodore F. Wiesner, Bradford C. Berk, Robert M. Nerem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Important among the responses of endothelial cells are cytosolic free calcium transients. These transients are mediated by several factors, including blood-borne agonists, extracellular calcium, and fluid-imposed shear forces. The transients are characterized by a rapid rise followed by a plateau phase. A base mathematical model is presented that reasonably reproduces the measured calcium transient in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells responding to thrombin. Kinetic equations for receptor activation and calcium mobilization comprise the model. A graded response of intracellular free calcium to increasing concentrations of agonist is predicted. Also predicted is the elevation of the peak value and the plateau level by steady nonspecific leak of calcium across the plasma membrane. The influences of capacitative calcium entry, calcium-induced calcium release, and buffering by cytosolic proteins are investigated parametrically. The model predicts significant depletion of cellular calcium in response to agonist stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C1556-C1569
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5 39-5
StatePublished - May 1996


  • calcium buffering
  • calcium influx
  • calcium-induced calcium release
  • capacitative calcium entry
  • thrombin


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