Spatial Effects in Dopamine Neurons
Efficient clearance of neurotransmitters from the synapse is key to regulating dopamine neurotransmission in the central nervous system. We modeled and simulated the dynamics of transporters using a combination of structure-based tools to identify the most probable functional states, their populations as well as relative rates of transitions. These were used to build realistic kinetic schemes which were in turn adopted in MCell simulations performed in cellular environment reconstructed from experimental data. Spatial distribution of transporters as well as structural heterogeneities near the dopamine release site were observed to alter the efficiency of transporter function inviting attention to the significance of a realistic representation of structure and environment for gaining deeper insights into neurotransmission regulation.