Table of Contents
Journal of Biophysics
Volume 2013, Article ID 654543, 9 pages
Research Article

Reduced Dynamic Models in Epithelial Transport

Sección Biofísica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Iguá esq. Mataojo, 11400 Montevideo, Uruguay

Received 12 July 2012; Accepted 26 January 2013

Academic Editor: Andreas Herrmann

Copyright © 2013 Julio A. Hernández. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Most models developed to represent transport across epithelia assume that the cell interior constitutes a homogeneous compartment, characterized by a single concentration value of the transported species. This conception differs significantly from the current view, in which the cellular compartment is regarded as a highly crowded media of marked structural heterogeneity. Can the finding of relatively simple dynamic properties of transport processes in epithelia be compatible with this complex structural conception of the cell interior? The purpose of this work is to contribute with one simple theoretical approach to answer this question. For this, the techniques of model reduction are utilized to obtain a two-state reduced model from more complex linear models of transcellular transport with a larger number of intermediate states. In these complex models, each state corresponds to the solute concentration in an intermediate intracellular compartment. In addition, the numerical studies reveal that it is possible to approximate a general two-state model under conditions where strict reduction of the complex models cannot be performed. These results contribute with arguments to reconcile the current conception of the cell interior as a highly complex medium with the finding of relatively simple dynamic properties of transport across epithelial cells.