Sunday, February 12, 2012

Neuropsychology Abstract of the Day: Memory Formation

Visualizing long-term memory formation in two neurons of the Drosophila brain
Science. 2012 Feb 10;335(6069):678-85
Chen CC, Wu JK, Lin HW, Pai TP, Fu TF, Wu CL, Tully T, Chiang AS

Abstract

Long-term memory (LTM) depends on the synthesis of new proteins. Using a temperature-sensitive ribosome-inactivating toxin to acutely inhibit protein synthesis, we screened individual neurons making new proteins after olfactory associative conditioning in Drosophila. Surprisingly, LTM was impaired after inhibiting protein synthesis in two dorsal-anterior-lateral (DAL) neurons but not in the mushroom body (MB), which is considered the adult learning and memory center. Using a photoconvertible fluorescent protein KAEDE to report de novo protein synthesis, we have directly visualized cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element-binding protein (CREB)-dependent transcriptional activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and period genes in the DAL neurons after spaced but not massed training. Memory retention was impaired by blocking neural output in DAL during retrieval but not during acquisition or consolidation. These findings suggest an extra-MB memory circuit in Drosophila: LTM consolidation (MB to DAL), storage (DAL), and retrieval (DAL to MB).

PMID: 22323813 [PubMed - in process]

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