Long-term memory survives nerve injury and the subsequent regeneration process

Learn Mem. 2003 Jan-Feb;10(1):44-54. doi: 10.1101/lm.48703.


A three-neuron network (a central pattern generator [CPG]) is both sufficient and necessary to generate aerial respiratory behavior in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. Aerial respiratory behavior is abolished following a specific nerve crush that results in axotomy to one of the three CPG neurons, RPeD1. Functional regeneration of the crushed neurite occurs within 10 days, allowing aerial respiratory behavior to be restored. Functional regeneration does not occur if the connective is cut rather than crushed. In unaxotomized snails, aerial respiratory behavior can be operantly conditioned, and following memory consolidation, long-term memory (LTM) persists for at least 2 weeks. We used the Lymnaea model system to determine (1) If in naive animals axotomy and the subsequent regeneration result in a nervous system that is competent to mediate associative learning and LTM, and (2) if LTM survives RPeD1 axotomy and the subsequent regenerative process. We show here that (1) A regenerated nervous system is competent to mediate associative memory and LTM, and (2) LTM survives axotomy and the subsequent regenerative process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Axotomy
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Lymnaea*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Respiration