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Science. 1991 Jan 11;251(4990):198-201.

Altered synaptic plasticity in Drosophila memory mutants with a defective cyclic AMP cascade.

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Department of Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


Synaptic transmission was examined in Drosophila mutants deficient in memory function. These mutants, dunce and rutabaga, are defective in different steps of the cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) cascade. In both dunce and rutabaga larvae, voltage-clamp analysis of neuromuscular transmission revealed impaired synaptic facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation as well as abnormal responses to direct application of dibutyryl cAMP. In addition, the calcium dependence of transmitter release was shifted in dunce. The results suggest that the cAMP cascade plays a role in synaptic facilitation and potentiation and indicate that synaptic plasticity is altered in Drosophila memory mutants.

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