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Cell Rep. 2016 Jan 5;14(1):11-21. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.11.064. Epub 2015 Dec 24.

Single-Cell Memory Regulates a Neural Circuit for Sensory Behavior.

Author information

1
Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.
2
Department of Cell Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan.
3
Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan; CREST, JST, 4-1-8 Honcho, Kawaguchi, Saitama, 332-0012, Japan. Electronic address: m46920a@nucc.cc.nagoya-u.ac.jp.

Abstract

Unveiling the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying memory has been a challenge for the past few decades. Although synaptic plasticity is proven to be essential for memory formation, the significance of "single-cell memory" still remains elusive. Here, we exploited a primary culture system for the analysis of C. elegans neurons and show that a single thermosensory neuron has an ability to form, retain, and reset a temperature memory. Genetic and proteomic analyses found that the expression of the single-cell memory exhibits inter-individual variability, which is controlled by the evolutionarily conserved CaMKI/IV and Raf pathway. The variable responses of a sensory neuron influenced the neural activity of downstream interneurons, suggesting that modulation of the sensory neurons ultimately determines the behavioral output in C. elegans. Our results provide proof of single-cell memory and suggest that the individual differences in neural responses at the single-cell level can confer individuality.

PMID:
26725111
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2015.11.064
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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