GSBS Student Publications


Drosophila DPM neurons form a delayed and branch-specific memory trace after olfactory classical conditioning

Student Author(s)

Alex Keene

GSBS Program


UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Waddell Lab; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Program



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Calcium; Conditioning, Classical; Drosophila Proteins; *Drosophila melanogaster; Electric Stimulation; Memory; Neurons; Neuropeptides; Odors; Smell; Synaptic Transmission; Time Factors; Transgenes


Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Formation of normal olfactory memory requires the expression of the wild-type amnesiac gene in the dorsal paired medial (DPM) neurons. Imaging the activity in the processes of DPM neurons revealed that the neurons respond when the fly is stimulated with electric shock or with any odor that was tested. Pairing odor and electric-shock stimulation increases odor-evoked calcium signals and synaptic release from DPM neurons. These memory traces form in only one of the two branches of the DPM neuron process. Moreover, trace formation requires the expression of the wild-type amnesiac gene in the DPM neurons. The cellular memory traces first appear at 30 min after conditioning and persist for at least 1 hr, a time window during which DPM neuron synaptic transmission is required for normal memory. DPM neurons are therefore "odor generalists" and form a delayed, branch-specific, and amnesiac-dependent memory trace that may guide behavior after acquisition.

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Citation: Cell. 2005 Dec 2;123(5):945-57. Link to article on publisher's site

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