Extraction of sub-microscopic Ca fluxes from blurred and noisy fluorescent indicator images with a detailed model fitting approach

H T Kong, Derek R Laver, Mark B Cannell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
589 Downloads (Pure)


The release of Ca from intracellular stores is key to cardiac muscle function; however, the molecular control of intracellular Ca release remains unclear. Depletion of the intracellular Ca store (sarcoplasmic reticulum, SR) may play an important role, but the ability to measure local SR Ca with fluorescent Ca indicators is limited by the microscope optical resolution and properties of the indicator. This leads to an uncertain degree of spatio-temporal blurring, which is not easily corrected (by deconvolution methods) due to the low signal-to-noise ratio of the recorded signals. In this study, a 3D computer model was constructed to calculate local Ca fluxes and consequent dye signals, which were then blurred by a measured microscope point spread function. Parameter fitting was employed to adjust a release basis function until the model output fitted recorded (2D) Ca spark data. This ‘forward method’ allowed us to obtain estimates of the time-course of Ca release flux and depletion within the sub-microscopic local SR associated with a number of Ca sparks. While variability in focal position relative to Ca spark sites causes more out-of-focus events to have smaller calculated fluxes (and less SR depletion), the average SR depletion was to 20610% (s.d.) of the resting level. This focus problem implies that the actual SR depletion is likely to be larger and the five largest depletions analyzed were to 866% of the resting level. This profound depletion limits SR release flux during a Ca spark, which peaked at 863 pA and declined with a half time of 762 ms. By comparison, RyR open probability declined more slowly, suggesting release termination is dominated by neither SR Ca depletion nor intrinsic RyR gating, but results from an interaction of these processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Extraction of sub-microscopic Ca fluxes from blurred and noisy fluorescent indicator images with a detailed model fitting approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this