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Curr Biol. 2017 Oct 23;27(20):3168-3177.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.068. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

Early Pheromone Experience Modifies a Synaptic Activity to Influence Adult Pheromone Responses of C. elegans.

Author information

1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, DGIST, Daegu 42988, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA.
3
Center for Electron Microscopy Research, Korea Basic Science Institute, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do 28119, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
5
Korea Brain Research Institute, Daegu 41068, Republic of Korea.
6
Robotics Engineering Department, DGIST, Daegu 42988, Republic of Korea.
7
Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA.
8
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, DGIST, Daegu 42988, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: khkim@dgist.ac.kr.

Abstract

Experiences during early development can influence neuronal functions and modulate adult behaviors [1, 2]. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the long-term behavioral effects of these early experiences are not fully understood. The C. elegans ascr#3 (asc-ΔC9; C9) pheromone triggers avoidance behavior in adult hermaphrodites [3-7]. Here, we show that hermaphrodites that are briefly exposed to ascr#3 immediately after birth exhibit increased ascr#3-specific avoidance as adults, indicating that ascr#3-experienced animals form a long-lasting memory or imprint of this early ascr#3 exposure [8]. ascr#3 imprinting is mediated by increased synaptic activity between the ascr#3-sensing ADL neurons and their post-synaptic SMB motor neuron partners via increased expression of the odr-2 glycosylated phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked signaling gene in the SMB neurons. Our study suggests that the memory for early ascr#3 experience is imprinted via alteration of activity of a single synaptic connection, which in turn shapes experience-dependent plasticity in adult ascr#3 responses.

KEYWORDS:

GPI-anchored protein; neuronal activity; pheromone; sensory imprinting; synapse

PMID:
28988862
PMCID:
PMC5805149
[Available on 2018-10-23]
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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