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Neuron. 2000 Jun;26(3):619-31.

C. elegans locomotory rate is modulated by the environment through a dopaminergic pathway and by experience through a serotonergic pathway.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.

Abstract

Caenorhabditis elegans modulates its locomotory rate in response to its food, bacteria, in two ways. First, well-fed wild-type animals move more slowly in the presence of bacteria than in the absence of bacteria. This basal slowing response is mediated by a dopamine-containing neural circuit that senses a mechanical attribute of bacteria and may be an adaptive mechanism that increases the amount of time animals spend in the presence of food. Second, food-deprived wild-type animals, when transferred to bacteria, display a dramatically enhanced slowing response that ensures that the animals do not leave their newly encountered source of food. This experience-dependent response is mediated by serotonergic neurotransmission and is potentiated by fluoxetine (Prozac). The basal and enhanced slowing responses are distinct and separable neuromodulatory components of a genetically tractable paradigm of behavioral plasticity.

PMID:
10896158
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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