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Neuroreport. 2010 Aug 23;21(12):812-6. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32833ce5be.

Involvement of DNA methylation in memory processing in the honey bee.

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  • 1Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Abstract

DNA methylation, an important and evolutionarily conserved epigenetic mechanism, is implicated in learning and memory processes in vertebrates, but its role in behaviour in invertebrates is unknown. We examined the role of DNA methylation in memory in the honey bee using an appetitive Pavlovian olfactory discrimination task, and by assessing the expression of DNA methyltransferase3, a key driver of epigenetic reprogramming. Here we report that DNA methyltransferase inhibition reduces acquisition retention and alters the extinction depending on treatment time, and DNA methyltransferase3 is upregulated after training. Our findings add to the understanding of epigenetic mechanisms in learning and memory, extending known roles of DNA methylation to appetitive and extinction memory, and for the first time implicate DNA methylation in memory in invertebrates.

PMID:
20571459
DOI:
10.1097/WNR.0b013e32833ce5be
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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