Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flies offer clues to anesthesia-resistant memory

17.02.2004


A fruit fly gene called radish, and the newly identified protein it encodes, have opened doors to understanding the genes and neuronal networks that govern a special type of memory, termed anesthesia-resistant memory. Researchers had previously known that for most animals -- not just humans -- loss of consciousness from anesthesia causes amnesia for recently experienced events. In contrast, for reasons that are not well understood, older memories are resistant to the effects of anesthesia. With the help of model organisms such as Drosophila, different types of memory are also now beginning to be identified on the basis of genetic requirements. This week, new analysis of a fly gene required for anesthesia-resistant memory sheds light on the nature of this memory type, and what makes it different from other kinds of stable memories.



The new work, reported by Josh Dubnau and colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, was based on some well established observations regarding learning and memory in the fruit fly. In Drosophila, memory of an odor-electric shock association is at first easily erased by anesthesia-induced loss of consciousness. Within the first hour after this memory forms, however, it becomes more resistant to anesthesia. For over a decade, memory researchers have known that this form of memory, anesthesia-resistant memory, does not form in a mutant strain of flies bearing a mutation in the gene called radish. Until now, however, the molecular basis for the radish memory defect has been a mystery.

Dubnau and colleagues have now identified the radish gene, and shown that it encodes a protein known as a phospholipase-A2, an enzyme that cleaves phospho-lipids on the cell membrane to release a chemical called arachidonic acid (AA). While the mechanism of action of AA in stabilizing memory still is unknown, this molecule has already been implicated in memory formation in chickens and rodents. The current genetic findings from flies therefore suggest that the radish/phospholipase A2-dependent form of memory spans distantly related animal phyla. The authors also traced expression of the radish gene in the fly brain, leading them to identify a network of neurons that had not been previously known to function in memory. The new insights into radish gene function provide geneticists with a valuable foothold to investigate the cellular mechanisms of anesthesia-resistant memory.




Ann-Shyn Chiang, Allison Blum, Jody Barditch, Ying-Hsiu Chen, Shu-Ling Chiu, Michael Regulski, J. Douglas Armstrong, Tim Tully, and Josh Dubnau: "radish Encodes a Phospholipase-A2 and Defines a Neural Circuit Involved in Anesthesia-Resistant Memory"

Published in Current Biology, Volume 14, Number 4 February 17, 2004, pages 263-272.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>