Pharmacological interference with glutamate re-uptake impairs long-term memory in the honeybee, apis mellifera

Behav Brain Res. 2000 Oct;115(1):49-53. doi: 10.1016/s0166-4328(00)00235-7.


The role of glutamate in the central nervous system of invertebrates is poorly understood. In the present study we examined the effects of a glutamate transporter inhibitor, L-trans-2,4-pyrrolidine dicarboxylate (L-trans-2,4-PDC), on memory formation in the honeybee following a three-trial classical conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER). Pre-training injections of the drug have no effect on acquisition and short-term (1 h) memory, but impair long-term (24 h), associative olfactory memory in a dose-dependent manner. This effect is transient and the amnesiac individuals can be re-trained successfully 48 h after injections. Our results suggest that glutamatergic neurons in the honeybee brain, in particular those found in the mushroom bodies (MBs), may be part of the circuitry involved in processing of long-term olfactory memory. Such a role for this neurotransmitter is consistent with our previous results showing that glutamate and glutamate transporter(s) are localised in regions of the honeybee brain implicated in higher order processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia / chemically induced
  • Amnesia / psychology
  • Animals
  • Bees / physiology*
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Classical / drug effects
  • Dicarboxylic Acids / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Pyrrolidines / pharmacology
  • Smell / drug effects


  • Dicarboxylic Acids
  • Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Glutamic Acid
  • pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid