Effects of protein synthesis inhibitors during reactivation of associative memory in the common snail induces reversible and irreversible amnesia
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The effects of protein synthesis inhibitors on the reactivation of an associative skill consisting of refusing a particular food by common snails were studied. Animals were given single injections of a protein synthesis inhibitor (cycloheximide at 0.6 mg/snail or anisomycin at 0.4 mg) 24 h after three days of training, and were then presented with a “reminding” stimulus (the “conditioned reflex” food-banana) and tested for retention of the skill. Observations revealed an impairment of reproduction of the acquired skill 2.5 h after the “reminder, ” with spontaneous restoration at 4.5–5.5 h. Other snails were given single 1.8-mg doses of cycloheximide or three 0.6-mg doses with intervals of 2 h. “Reminders” were presented after each injection. In these conditions, impairment of reproduction of the conditioned reflex also appeared 2.5 h after the first “reminder, ” though amnesia lasted at least 30 days and repeat training of the animals produced only partial recovery of the skill. Thus, we have provided the first demonstration that recovery of a long-term memory “trace” on exposure to relatively low doses of protein synthesis inhibitors produces transient and short-lived amnesia, lasting 2–3 h, while long-term, irreversible amnesia occurrs after longer-lasting or more profound suppression of protein synthesis. These results suggest that the “reminding” process induces reconsolidation of the “ initial” memory, suppression of which by protein synthesis inhibitors leads to “erasure” of the memory “trace” and impairs consolidation on repeat training.
Key wordsassociative memory reactivation of memory reconsolidation protein synthesis inhibition stages of memory common snail
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