UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Anesthesia; Animals; Drosophila; Drug Resistance; Learning; Memory; Mushroom Bodies; Mutation; Serotonin


Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Pavlovian olfactory learning in Drosophila produces two genetically distinct forms of intermediate-term memories: anesthesia-sensitive memory, which requires the amnesiac gene, and anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM), which requires the radish gene. Here, we report that ARM is specifically enhanced or inhibited in flies with elevated or reduced serotonin (5HT) levels, respectively. The requirement for 5HT was additive with the memory defect of the amnesiac mutation but was occluded by the radish mutation. This result suggests that 5HT and Radish protein act on the same pathway for ARM formation. Three supporting lines of evidence indicate that ARM formation requires 5HT released from only two dorsal paired medial (DPM) neurons onto the mushroom bodies (MBs), the olfactory learning and memory center in Drosophila: (i) DPM neurons were 5HT-antibody immunopositive; (ii) temporal inhibition of 5HT synthesis or release from DPM neurons, but not from other serotonergic neurons, impaired ARM formation; (iii) knocking down the expression of d5HT1A serotonin receptors in alpha/beta MB neurons, which are innervated by DPM neurons, inhibited ARM formation. Thus, in addition to the Amnesiac peptide required for anesthesia-sensitive memory formation, the two DPM neurons also release 5HT acting on MB neurons for ARM formation.


Citation: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 16;108(33):13794-9. Epub 2011 Aug 1. Link to article on publisher's site

Freely available online through the PNAS open access option.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed



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