Intermediate and long-term memories of associative learning are differentially affected by transcription versus translation blockers in Lymnaea

J Exp Biol. 2003 May;206(Pt 10):1605-13. doi: 10.1242/jeb.00301.


Aerial respiratory behaviour in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, can be operantly conditioned. This associative learning then undergoes consolidation into a long-lasting memory which, depending on the training procedure used, causes intermediate-term memory (ITM; lasting 3 h) or long-term memory (LTM; lasting >6 h) to be formed. We determined the differential susceptibility of these two forms of memory to translation and transcription blockers. The injection of a translation blocker, Anisomycin, 2.5 h before training prevents the establishment of both ITM and LTM. On the other hand, injection of the transcription blocker Actinomycin D, 2.5 h before training, did not prevent the establishment of ITM, but did, however, prevent LTM formation. Thus in Lymnaea, following associative learning, both ITM and LTM are dependent on new protein synthesis. ITM appears to be dependent on protein synthesis from preexisting transcription factors, whilst LTM is dependent on protein synthesis from new transcription messages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anisomycin / pharmacology
  • Association Learning / drug effects
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Dactinomycin / pharmacology
  • Lymnaea / drug effects
  • Lymnaea / genetics
  • Lymnaea / physiology*
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Respiration / drug effects
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects


  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Dactinomycin
  • Anisomycin