Training Lymnaea in the presence of a predator scent results in a long-lasting ability to form enhanced long-term memory
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Lymnaea exposed to crayfish effluent (CE) gain an enhanced ability to form long-term memory (LTM). We test the hypothesis that a single CE exposure and operant conditioning training leads to long lasting changes in the capability of snails to form LTM when tested in pond water four weeks later. We trained both juvenile and adult snails with a single 0.5 h training session in CE and show that LTM was present 24 h later. Snails trained in a similar manner in just pond water show no LTM. We then asked if such training in CE conferred enhanced memory forming capabilities on these snails four weeks later. That is, would LTM be formed in these snails four weeks later following a single 0.5 h training session in pond water? We found that both adult and juvenile snails previously trained in CE one month previously had enhanced LTM formation abilities. The injection of a DNA methylation blocker, 5-AZA, prior to training in adult snails blocked enhanced LTM formation four weeks later. Finally, this enhanced LTM forming ability was not passed on to the next generation of snails.
KeywordsLymnaea Long-term memory Epigenetic change Predator scent
Central nervous system
cAMP response element-binding protein
Memory test session
Standard error of the mean
Funded by NSERC.
Complicance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
We have followed all applicable University of Calgary protocols necessary for these experiments.
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