Developing a 3-D computational model of neurons in the central amygdala to understand pharmacological targets for pain
Frontiers in Pain Research
agent-based model (ABM), central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), computational model, neuropathic pain, nociplastic pain, protein kinase c delta (PKCδ), somatostatin
Neuropathic and nociplastic pain are major causes of pain and involve brain areas such as the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA). Within the CeA, neurons expressing protein kinase c-delta (PKCδ) or somatostatin (SST) have opposing roles in pain-like modulation. In this manuscript, we describe our progress towards developing a 3-D computational model of PKCδ and SST neurons in the CeA and the use of this model to explore the pharmacological targeting of these two neural populations in modulating nociception. Our 3-D model expands upon our existing 2-D computational framework by including a realistic 3-D spatial representation of the CeA and its subnuclei and a network of directed links that preserves morphological properties of PKCδ and SST neurons. The model consists of 13,000 neurons with cell-type specific properties and behaviors estimated from laboratory data. During each model time step, neuron firing rates are updated based on an external stimulus, inhibitory signals are transmitted between neurons via the network, and a measure of nociceptive output from the CeA is calculated as the difference in firing rates of pro-nociceptive PKCδ neurons and anti-nociceptive SST neurons. Model simulations were conducted to explore differences in output for three different spatial distributions of PKCδ and SST neurons. Our results show that the localization of these neuron populations within CeA subnuclei is a key parameter in identifying spatial and cell-type pharmacological targets for pain.
Miller Neilan, R., Reith, C., Anandan, I., Kraeuter, K., Allen, H., & Kolber, B. (2023). Developing a 3-D computational model of neurons in the central amygdala to understand pharmacological targets for pain. Frontiers in Pain Research, 4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpain.2023.1183553