Conditions for Kir-induced bistability of membrane potential in capillary endothelial cells

Madison Delmoe, Timothy W. Secomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A simplified model for electrophysiology of endothelial cells is used to examine the conditions that can lead to bistability of membrane resting potential. The model includes the effects of inward-rectifying potassium (Kir) ion channels, whose current–voltage relationship shows an interval of negative slope and whose maximum conductance is dependent on the extracellular potassium concentration. The background current resulting from other types of channels is assumed to be linearly related to membrane potential. A method is presented for identifying the boundaries in the parameter space for the background currents of the regions of bistability. It is shown that these regions are relatively narrow and depend on extracellular potassium concentration. The results are used to define conditions leading to transitions between depolarized and hyperpolarized membrane states. These behaviors can influence the properties of conducted responses, in which changes in membrane potential are propagated along blood vessel walls. Conducted responses are important in the local regulation of blood flow in the brain and other tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108955
JournalMathematical Biosciences
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Ion channel
  • Membrane resting potential
  • Potassium inward rectifier channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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