Examples of Hysteresis Phenomena in Biology

  • Hamid Reza NooriEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology book series (BRIEFSAPPLSCIENCES)


Hysteresis may occur in different spatiotemporal scales of consideration. From switches in protein-DNA interactions (Chatterjee et al. 2008), microscopic cellular signaling pathways with bistable molecular cascades (Angeli et al. 2004; Qiao 2007), cell division, differentiation, cancer onset and apoptosis (Sha et al. 2003; Eissing et al. 2004; kim et al. 2007; Wilhelm 2009), protein folding (Andrews et al. 2013) and purinergic neuron-astrocyte interactions in the brain (Noori 2011) up to macroscopic biomechanics of cornea (Congdon et al. 2006) and lung deformations (Escolar and Escolar 2004), hysteresis phenomena are ubiquitous in biology. In this chapter, we will briefly discuss a few examples of hysteresis phenomena in biology, which may qualitatively resemble many other biological processes.


Central Corneal Thickness Hysteresis Behavior Hysteresis Phenomenon Corneal Hysteresis Preisach Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Andrews BT, Capraro DT, Sulkowska JI, Onuchic JN, Jennings PA (2013) Hysteresis as a marker for complex, overlapping landscapes in proteins. J Phys Chem Lett 4:180–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angeli D, Ferrell Jr JE, Sontag ED (2004) Detection of multistability, bifurcations, and hysteresis in a large class of biological positive-feedback systems. Proc Nat Acad Sci U S A 101:1822–1827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Angulo MC, Kozlov AS, Charpak S, Audinat E (2004) Glutamate released from glial cells synchronizes neuronal activity in the hippocampus. J Neurosci 24:69206927CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Araque A, Sanzgiri RP, Parpura V, Haydon PG (1998) Calcium elevation in astrocytes causes an NMDA receptor-dependent increase in the frequency of miniature synaptic currents in cultured hippocampal neurons. J Neurosci 18:68226829Google Scholar
  5. Araque A, Parpura V, Sanzgiri RP, Haydon PG (1999) Tripartite synapses: glia, the unacknowledged partner. Trends Neurosci 22:208–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Atkinson MR, Savageau MA, Myers JT, Ninfa AJ (2003) Development of genetic circuitry exhibiting toggle switch or oscillatory behavior in Escherichia coli. Cell 113:597–607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bar-Yishay E, Hyatt RE, Rodarte JR (1986) Effect of heart weight on distribution of lung surface pressures in vertical dogs. J Appl Physiol 61:712–718Google Scholar
  8. Becskei A, Seraphin B, Serrano L (2001) Positive feedback in eukaryotic gene networks: cell differentiation by graded to binary response conversion. EMBO J 20:2528–2535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chatterjee A, Kaznessis YN, Hu WS (2008) Tweaking biological switches through a better understanding of bistability behavior. Curr Opin Biotechnol 19:475–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Congdon NG, Broman AT, Bandeen-Roche K, Grover D, Quigley HA (2006) Central corneal thickness and corneal hysteresis associated with glaucoma damage. Am J Ophthalmol 141: 868–875Google Scholar
  11. DelMonte DW, Kim T (2011) Anatomy and physiology of the cornea. J Cataract Refract Surg 37:588–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dunwiddie TV, Diao LH, Proctor WR (1997) Adenine nucleotides undergo rapid, quantitative conversion to adenosine in the extracellular space in rat hippocampus. J Neurosci 17:7673–7682Google Scholar
  13. Eissing T, Conzelmann H, Gilles ED, Allgoewer F, Bullinger E, Scheurich P (2004) Bistability analyses of a caspase activation model for receptor-induced apoptosis. J Biol Chem 279:3689236897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Escolar JD, Escolar A (2004) Lung hysteresis: a morphological view. Histol Histopathol 19:159–166Google Scholar
  15. Fields RD, Stevens B (2000) ATP: an extracellular signaling molecule between neurons and glia. Trends Neurosci 23:625–633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ganesan S, Rouch KE, Lai-Fook SJ (1995) A finite element analysis of the effects of the abdomen on regional lung expansion. Respir Physiol 99:341–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gordon GRJ, Baimoukhametova DV, Hewitt SA, Kosala WRA, Rajapaksha JS, Fisher TE, Bains JS (2005) Norepinephrine triggers release of glial ATP to increase postsynaptic efficacy. Nat Neurosci 8:1078–1086CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Halassa MM, Fellin T, Haydon PG (2007) The tripartite synapse: roles for gliotransmission in health and disease. Trends Mol Med 13:54–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hamilton N, Vayro S, Kirchhoff F, Verkhratsky A, Robbins J, Gorecki DC, Butt AM (2008) Mechanisms of ATP- and glutamate-mediated calcium signaling in white matter astrocytes. GLIA 56:734–749CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harper JW, Burton JL, Solomon MJ (2002) The anaphase-promoting complex: it’s not just for mitosis any more. Genes and Dev 16:2179–2206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Harris RS (2005) Pressure-volume curves of the respiratory system. Resp Care 50:78–98Google Scholar
  22. Haydon PG (2001) GLIA: listening and talking to the synapse. Nat Rev Neurosci 2:185–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Haydon PG, Carmignoto G (2006) Astrocyte control of synaptic transmission and neurovascular coupling. Physiol Rev 86:1009–1031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Haydon PG, Blendy J, Moss SJ, Jackson FR (2009) Astrocytic control of synaptic transmission and plasticity: a target for drugs of abuse? Neuropharmacology 56:83–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hengartner MO (2000) The biochemistry of apoptosis. Nature 407:770–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Isaacs FJ, Hasty J, Cantor CR, Collins JJ (2003) Prediction and measurement of an autoregulatory genetic module. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 100:7714–7719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jourdain P, Bergersen LH, Bhaukaurally K, Bezzi P, Santello M, Domercq M, Matute C, Tonello F, Gundersen V, Volterra A (2007) Glutamate exocytosis from astrocytes controls synaptic strength. Nat Neurosci 10:331339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kato F, Kawamura M, Shigetomi E, Tanaka J-I, Inoue K (2004) ATP- and adenosine-mediated signaling in the central nervous system: synaptic purinoceptors: the stage for ATP to lay its “dual-role”. J Pharmaco Sci 94:107–111Google Scholar
  29. Kim D, Rath O, Kolch W, Cho K-H (2007) A hidden oncogenic positive feedback loop caused by crosstalk between Wnt and ERK pathways. Oncogene 26:45714579Google Scholar
  30. Kramer BP, Viretta AU, Daoud-El-Baba M, Aubel D, Weber W, Fussenegger M (2004) An engineered epigenetic transgene switch in mammalian cells. Nat Biotechnol 22:867–870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kramer BP, Fussenegger M (2005) Hysteresis in a synthetic mammalian gene network. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 102:9517–9522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lai-Fook SJ, Hyatt RE (2000) Effects of age on elastic moduli of human lungs. J Appl Physiol 89:163–168Google Scholar
  33. Leist M, Jaattela M (2001) Four deaths and a funeral: from caspases to alternative mechanisms. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2:589–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Liu S, Margulies SS, Wilson TA (1990) Deformation of the dog lung in the chest wall. J Appl Physiol 68:1979–1987Google Scholar
  35. Martin ED, Fernandez M, Perea G, Pascual O, Haydon PG, Araque A, Cena V (2007) Adenosine released by astrocytes contributes to hypoxia-induced modulation of synaptic transmission. GLIA 55:36–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Masino SA, Diao L, Illes P, Zahniser NR, Larson GA, Johansson B, Fredholm BB, Dunwiddie TV (2002) Modulation of Hippocampal Glutamatergic Transmission by ATP Is Dependent on Adenosine A1 Receptors. J Pharm Exp Ther 303:356–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. May T, Eccleston L, Herrmann S, Hauser H, Goncalves J, Wirth D (2008) Bimodal and hysteretic expression in mammalian cells from a synthetic gene circuit. PLoS One 3:e2372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mead J, Takishima T, Leith D (1970) Stress distribution in lungs: a model of pulmonary elasticity. J Appl Physiol 28:596–608Google Scholar
  39. Muller LJ, Pels E, Vrensen GFJM (2001) The specific architecture of the anterior stroma accounts for maintenance of corneal curvature. Br J Ophthalmol 85:437443Google Scholar
  40. Newman EA (2003a) Glial cell inhibition of neurons by release of ATP. J Neurosci 23:1659–1666Google Scholar
  41. Newman EA (2003b) New roles for astrocytes: regulation of synaptic transmission. Trends Neurosci 26:536–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Noori HR (2011) Substantial changes in synaptic firing frequencies induced by glial ATP hysteresis. Biosystems 105:238–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ozbudak EM, Thattai M, Lim HN, Shraiman BI, Van Oudenaarden A (2004) Multistability in the lactose utilization network of Escherichia coli. Nature 427:737–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pascual O, Casper KB, Kubera C, Zhang J, Revilla-Sanchez R, Sul J-Y, Takano H, Moss SJ, McCarthy K, Haydon PG (2005) Astrocytic purinergic signaling coordinates synaptic networks. Science 310:113–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Perea G, Araque A (2005) Properties of synaptically evoked astrocyte calcium signal reveal synaptic information processing by astrocytes. J Neurosci 25:21922203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Perea G, Araque A (2007) Astrocytes potentiate transmitter release at single hippocampal synapses. Science 317:10831086CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Perea G, Navarrete M, Araque A (2009) Tripartite synapses: astrocytes process and control synaptic information. Trends Neurosci 32:421–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pines J (1995) Cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases: a biochemical view. Biochem J 308:697711Google Scholar
  49. Porter JT, McCarthy KD (1997) Astrocytic neurotransmitter receptors in situ and in vivo. Prog Neurobiol 51:439–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Qiao L, Nachbar RB, Kevrekidis IG, Shvartsman SY (2007) Bistability and oscillations in the Huang-Ferrell model of MAPK signaling. PLoS Comput Biol 3:1819–1826MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rüfer F, Schrder A, Erb C (2005) White-to-white corneal diameter; normal values in healthy humans obtained with the Orbscan II topography system. Cornea 24:259261Google Scholar
  52. Sha W, Moore J, Chen K, Lassaletta AD, Yi C-S, Tyson JJ, Sible JC (2003) Hysteresis drives cell-cycle transitions in Xenopus laevis egg extracts. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 100:975–980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Simon G, Ren Q (1994) Biomechanical behavior of the cornea and its response to radial keratotomy. J Refract Corneal Surg 10:343351Google Scholar
  54. Solomon MJ (2003) Hysteresis meets the cell cycle. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 100:771–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Thornberry NA, Lazebnik Y (1998) Caspases: enemies within. Science 281:1312–1316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tyson JJ, Chen KC, Novak B (2003) Sniffers, buzzers, toggles and blinkers: dynamics of regulatory and signaling pathways in the cell. Curr Opin Cell Biol 15:221231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Volterra A, Meldolesi J (2005) Astrocytes, from brain glue to communication elements: the revolution continues. Nat Rev Neurosci 6:626–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Weber W, Fussenegger M (2006) Pharmacologic transgene control systems for gene therapy. J Gene Med 8:535–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. West JB, Matthews FL (1972) Stresses, strains, and surface pressures in the lung caused by its weight. J Appl Physiol 32:332–345Google Scholar
  60. Wilhelm T (2009) The smallest chemical reaction system with bistability. BMC Syst Biol 3:90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wilson TW (1981) Relations among recoil pressure, surface area and surface tension in the lung. J Appl Physiol Respirat Environ Exercise Physiol 50:921–926Google Scholar
  62. Xiong W, Ferrell JE Jr (2003) A positive-feedback-based bistable ’memory module’ that governs a cell fate decision. Nature 426:460–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zhang J-M, Wang H-K, Ye C-Q, Ge W, Chen Y, Jiang Z-L, Wu C-P, Poo M-M, Duan S (2003) ATP released by astrocytes mediates glutamatergic activity-dependent heterosynaptic suppression. Neuron 40:971–982CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Institute for Mental HealthInstitute for PsychopharmacologyMannheimGermany

Personalised recommendations