Acute Sleep Deprivation Blocks Short- and Long-Term Operant Memory in Aplysia.
ABSTRACT: Insufficient sleep in individuals appears increasingly common due to the demands of modern work schedules and technology use. Consequently, there is a growing need to understand the interactions between sleep deprivation and memory. The current study determined the effects of acute sleep deprivation on short and long-term associative memory using the marine mollusk Aplysia californica, a relatively simple model system well known for studies of learning and memory.Aplysia were sleep deprived for 9 hours using context changes and tactile stimulation either prior to or after training for the operant learning paradigm, learning that food is inedible (LFI). The effects of sleep deprivation on short-term (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) were assessed.Acute sleep deprivation prior to LFI training impaired the induction of STM and LTM with persistent effects lasting at least 24 h. Sleep deprivation immediately after training blocked the consolidation of LTM. However, sleep deprivation following the period of molecular consolidation did not affect memory recall. Memory impairments were independent of handling-induced stress, as daytime handled control animals demonstrated no memory deficits. Additional training immediately after sleep deprivation failed to rescue the induction of memory, but additional training alleviated the persistent impairment in memory induction when training occurred 24 h following sleep deprivation.Acute sleep deprivation inhibited the induction and consolidation, but not the recall of memory. These behavioral studies establish Aplysia as an effective model system for studying the interactions between sleep and memory formation.
Project description:The induction, formation and maintenance of memory represent dynamic processes modulated by multiple factors including the circadian clock and sleep. Chronic sleep restriction has become common in modern society due to occupational and social demands. Given the impact of cognitive impairments associated with sleep deprivation, there is a vital need for a simple animal model in which to study the interactions between chronic sleep deprivation and memory. We used the marine mollusk Aplysia californica, with its simple nervous system, nocturnal sleep pattern and well-characterized learning paradigms, to assess the effects of two chronic sleep restriction paradigms on short-term (STM) and long-term (LTM) associative memory. The effects of sleep deprivation on memory were evaluated using the operant learning paradigm, learning that food is inedible, in which the animal associates a specific netted seaweed with failed swallowing attempts. We found that two nights of 6h sleep deprivation occurring during the first or last half of the night inhibited both STM and LTM. Moreover, the impairment in STM persisted for more than 24h. A milder, prolonged sleep deprivation paradigm consisting of 3 consecutive nights of 4h sleep deprivation also blocked STM, but had no effect on LTM. These experiments highlight differences in the sensitivity of STM and LTM to chronic sleep deprivation. Moreover, these results establish Aplysia as a valid model for studying the interactions between chronic sleep deprivation and associative memory paving the way for future studies delineating the mechanisms through which sleep restriction affects memory formation.
Project description:In addition to protein synthesis, protein degradation or protein cleavage may be necessary for intermediate (ITM) and long-term memory (LTM) to remove molecular constraints, facilitate persistent kinase activity and modulate synaptic plasticity. Calpains, a family of conserved calcium dependent cysteine proteases, modulate synaptic function through protein cleavage. We used the marine mollusk Aplysia californica to investigate the in vivo role of calpains during intermediate and long-term operant memory formation using the learning that food is inedible (LFI) paradigm. A single LFI training session, in which the animal associates a specific netted seaweed with the failure to swallow, generates short (30min), intermediate (4-6h) and long-term (24h) memory. Using the calpain inhibitors calpeptin and MDL-28170, we found that ITM requires calpain activity for induction and consolidation similar to the previously reported requirements for persistent protein kinase C activity in intermediate-term LFI memory. The induction of LTM also required calpain activity. In contrast to ITM, calpain activity was not necessary for the molecular consolidation of LTM. Surprisingly, six hours after LFI training we found that calpain activity was necessary for LTM, although this is a time at which neither persistent PKC activity nor protein synthesis is required for the maintenance of long-term LFI memory. These results demonstrate that calpains function in multiple roles in vivo during associative memory formation.
Project description:Sleep is thought to be important for memory consolidation, since sleep deprivation has been shown to interfere with memory processing. However, the effects of augmenting sleep on memory formation are not well known, and testing the role of sleep in memory enhancement has been limited to pharmacological and behavioral approaches. Here we test the effect of overexpressing the brain-type fatty acid binding protein (Fabp7) on sleep and long-term memory (LTM) formation in Drosophila melanogaster. Transgenic flies carrying the murine Fabp7 or the Drosophila homologue dFabp had reduced baseline sleep but normal LTM, while Fabp induction produced increases in both net sleep and LTM. We also define a post-training consolidation "window" that is sufficient for the observed Fabp-mediated memory enhancement. Since Fabp overexpression increases consolidated daytime sleep bouts, these data support a role for longer naps in improving memory and provide a novel role for lipid-binding proteins in regulating memory consolidation concurrently with changes in behavioral state.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggests a critical role for epigenetic regulations in long term memory (LTM) formation. Among them, post-translational modifications of proteins, as histone acetylation, are an important regulator of chromatin remodelling and gene transcription. While the implication of histone acetylation in memory consolidation is widely accepted, less is known about its role in memory reconsolidation i.e. during memory restabilization after its reactivation. In the present study, we investigated the role of histone acetylation during the initial consolidation and the reconsolidation of spatial memory, using a weak massed learning procedure in the Morris water maze paradigm in mice. Usually a weak learning is sufficient for short term memory (STM) formation, but insufficient to upgrade STM to LTM. We found that promoting histone acetylation through intra-hippocampal infusion of a class I selective histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor immediately after a subthreshold spatial learning improved LTM but not STM retention. More importantly, inhibiting HDAC activity after the reactivation of a weak memory promoted specifically LTM reconsolidation without affecting post-reactivation STM. These findings argue in favour of an important role for histone acetylation in memory consolidation, and more particularly during the reconsolidation of spatial memory in mice.
Project description:Sleep is believed to play an important role in memory consolidation. We induced sleep on demand by expressing the temperature-gated nonspecific cation channel Transient receptor potential cation channel (UAS-TrpA1) in neurons, including those with projections to the dorsal fan-shaped body (FB). When the temperature was raised to 31°C, flies entered a quiescent state that meets the criteria for identifying sleep. When sleep was induced for 4 hours after a massed-training protocol for courtship conditioning that is not capable of inducing long-term memory (LTM) by itself, flies develop an LTM. Activating the dorsal FB in the absence of sleep did not result in the formation of LTM after massed training.
Project description:Because of the relative simplicity of its nervous system, Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model organism to study learning and memory at cellular and molecular levels. For appetitive conditioning in C. elegans, food has exclusively been used as an unconditioned stimulus (US). It may be difficult to analyze neuronal circuits for associative memory since food is a multimodal combination of olfactory, gustatory, and mechanical stimuli. Here, we report classical appetitive conditioning and associative memory in C. elegans, using 1-nonanol as a conditioned stimulus (CS), and potassium chloride (KCl) as a US. Before conditioning, C. elegans innately avoided 1-nonanol, an aversive olfactory stimulus, and was attracted by KCl, an appetitive gustatory stimulus, on assay agar plates. Both massed training without an intertrial interval (ITI) and spaced training with a 10-min ITI induced significant levels of memory of association regarding the two chemicals. Memory induced by massed training decayed within 6 h, while that induced by spaced training was retained for more than 6 h. Animals treated with inhibitors of transcription or translation formed the memory induced by spaced training less efficiently than untreated animals, whereas the memory induced by massed training was not significantly affected by such treatments. By definition, therefore, memories induced by massed training and spaced training are classified as short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM), respectively. When animals conditioned by spaced training were exposed to 1-nonanol alone, their learning index was lower than that of untreated animals, suggesting that extinction learning occurs in C. elegans. In support of these results, C. elegans mutants defective in nmr-1, encoding an NMDA receptor subunit, formed both STM and LTM less efficiently than wild-type animals, while mutations in crh-1, encoding a ubiquitous transcription factor CREB required for memory consolidation, affected LTM, but not STM. The paradigm established in the present study should allow us to elucidate neuronal circuit plasticity for appetitive learning and memory in C. elegans.
Project description:Brief experiences while a memory is consolidated may capture the consolidation, perhaps producing a maladaptive memory, or may interrupt the consolidation. Since consolidation occurs during sleep, even fleeting experiences when animals are awakened may produce maladaptive long-term memory, or may interrupt consolidation. In a learning paradigm affecting Aplysia feeding, when animals were trained after being awakened from sleep, interactions between new experiences and consolidation were prevented by blocking long-term memory arising from the new experiences. Inhibiting protein synthesis eliminated the block and allowed even a brief, generally ineffective training to produce long-term memory. Memory formation depended on consolidative proteins already expressed before training. After effective training, long term memory required subsequent transcription and translation. Memory formation during the sleep phase was correlated with increased CREB1 transcription, but not CREB2 transcription. Increased C/EBP transcription was a correlate of both effective and ineffective training and of treatments not producing memory.
Project description:Curcumin, a yellow-pigment compound found in the popular Indian spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), has been extensively investigated for its anti-inflammatory, chemopreventative, and antidepressant properties. Here, we examined the efficacy of dietary curcumin at impairing the consolidation and reconsolidation of a Pavlovian fear memory, a widely studied animal model of traumatic memory formation in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We show that a diet enriched with 1.5% curcumin prevents the training-related elevation in the expression of the immediate early genes (IEGs) Arc/Arg3.1 and Egr-1 in the lateral amygdala (LA) and impairs the 'consolidation' of an auditory Pavlovian fear memory; short-term memory (STM) is intact, whereas long-term memory (LTM) is significantly impaired. Next, we show that dietary curcumin impairs the 'reconsolidation' of a recently formed auditory Pavlovian fear memory; fear memory retrieval (reactivation) and postreactivation (PR)-STM are intact, whereas PR-LTM is significantly impaired. Additional experiments revealed that dietary curcumin is also effective at impairing the reconsolidation of an older, well-consolidated fear memory. Furthermore, we observed that fear memories that fail to reconsolidate under the influence of dietary curcumin are impaired in an enduring manner; unlike extinguished fear memories, they are not subject to reinstatement or renewal. Collectively, our findings indicate that a diet enriched with curcumin is capable of impairing fear memory consolidation and reconsolidation processes, findings that may have important clinical implications for the treatment of disorders such as PTSD that are characterized by unusually strong and persistently reactivated fear memories.
Project description:The superiority of spaced over massed learning is an established fact in the formation of long-term memories (LTM). Here we addressed the cellular processes and the temporal demands of this phenomenon using a weak spatial object recognition (wSOR) training, which induces short-term memories (STM) but not LTM. We observed SOR-LTM promotion when two identical wSOR training sessions were spaced by an inter-trial interval (ITI) ranging from 15?min to 7?h, consistently with spaced training. The promoting effect was dependent on neural activity, protein synthesis and ERKs1/2 activity in the hippocampus. Based on the "behavioral tagging" hypothesis, which postulates that learning induces a neural tag that requires proteins to induce LTM formation, we propose that retraining will mainly retag the sites initially labeled by the prior training. Thus, when weak, consecutive training sessions are experienced within an appropriate spacing, the intracellular mechanisms triggered by each session would add, thereby reaching the threshold for protein synthesis required for memory consolidation. Our results suggest in addition that ERKs1/2 kinases play a dual role in SOR-LTM formation after spaced learning, both inducing protein synthesis and setting the SOR learning-tag. Overall, our findings bring new light to the mechanisms underlying the promoting effect of spaced trials on LTM formation.
Project description:Sleep supports memory consolidation as shown in mammals and invertebrates such as bees and Drosophila. Here, we show that sleep's memory function is preserved in Aplysia californica with an even simpler nervous system. Animals performed on an inhibitory conditioning task ("learning that a food is inedible") three times, at Training, Retrieval 1, and Retrieval 2, with 17-h intervals between tests. Compared with Wake animals, remaining awake between Training and Retrieval 1, Sleep animals with undisturbed post-training sleep, performed significantly better at Retrieval 1 and 2. Control experiments testing retrieval only after ?34 h, confirmed the consolidating effect of sleep occurring within 17 h after training.