Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 685–694 | Cite as

Spatial learning associated with stimulus response in goldfish Carassius auratus: relationship to activation of CREB signalling

  • Koilmani Emmanuvel RajanEmail author
  • Subramanian Thangaleela
  • Chellam Balasundaram


Earlier, we reported spatial learning ability in goldfish (Carassius auratus) by using spatial paradigm with food reward. Therefore, we hypothesized that goldfish may use associated cue to integrate “where” and “what” for spatial memory. To test our hypothesis, we first trained goldfish to learn to cross the gate1, which is associated with spatial task. Subsequently, they were trained to learn to enter the task chamber and to identify the food reward chamber associated with visual cue (red/green light). Red and green lights were positioned randomly for each trial but always the food reward was kept in green chamber. In addition, to elucidate the role of the signalling cascade in spatial memory associated with visual cue, nicotinamide (NAM, 1000 mg/kg, i.p), a NAD+ precursor, was used to inhibit the Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) pathway. Fishes were trained for 5 days in a maze after treating with either vehicle (VEH, DD H2O) or NAM, and then, they were individually tested for memory. We found that VEH-treated fish learned and recalled the task successfully by showing less latency and making more correct choices than NAM-treated group. Subsequent analysis showed that NAM treatment significantly down-regulated the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), CREB, expression of SirT1 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) in telencephalon. Taken together, our results provide behavioural evidence of spatial memory associated with visual cue in C. auratus, which could be regulated by ERK1/2–CREB–SirT1Bdnf pathway.


Spatial memory Visual cue Carassius auratus Nicotinamide ERK1/2 CREB SirT1 Bdnf 



We thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their comments to improve the manuscript. This research was partially supported by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) through a major project to K.E.R. and UGC-SAP-DRS-II for the Department of Animal Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Koilmani Emmanuvel Rajan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Subramanian Thangaleela
    • 1
  • Chellam Balasundaram
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, School of Life SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia

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