The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis learns taste aversion and consolidates it into long-term memory (LTM). This is referred to as conditioned taste aversion (CTA). The superfusion of molluscan insulin-related peptides (MIPs) over the isolated snail brain causes a long-term enhancement of synaptic input between the cerebral giant cell and the B1 buccal motor neuron. This enhancement is hypothesized to underlie CTA. The synaptic enhancement caused by the superfusion of MIPs can be blocked by the application of human insulin receptor antibody, which recognizes the extracellular domain of human insulin receptor and acts as an antagonist even for MIP receptors. An injection of the human insulin receptor antibody into the abdominal cavity of trained snails blocks the consolidation process leading to LTM, even though the snails acquire taste aversion. Here, we examined whether or not taste-aversion training changes the mRNA expression level of MIP receptor in the snail brain and found that it does not. This result, taken together with previous findings, suggest that the MIPs' effect on synaptic function in the snail brain is attributable to a change in the MIP concentration, and not to a change in the mRNA expression level of MIP receptor, which is thought to reflect the number of MIP receptors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)