The paper presents a modeling study of the spatial dynamics of a nephro-vascular network consisting of individual nephrons connected via a tree-like vascular branching structure. We focus on the effects of nonlinear mechanisms that are responsible for the formation of synchronous patterns in order to learn about processes not directly amenable to experimentation. We demonstrate that: (i) the nearest nephrons are synchronized in-phase due to a vascular propagated electrical coupling, (ii) the next few branching levels display a formation of phase-shifted patterns due to hemodynamic coupling and mode elimination, and (iii) distantly located areas show asynchronous behavior or, if all nephrons and branches are perfectly identical, an infinitely long transient behavior. These results contribute to the understanding of mechanisms responsible for the highly dynamic and limited synchronization observed among groups of nephrons despite of the fairly strong interaction between the individual units.
Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 2012, Vol 74, Issue 12, p. 2820-41