Reconsolidation of a long-term memory in Lymnaea requires new protein and RNA synthesis and the soma of right pedal dorsal 1

J Neurosci. 2003 Sep 3;23(22):8034-40. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.23-22-08034.2003.


Reconsolidation of a long-term memory (LTM) in the snail Lymnaea stagnalis can be disrupted by cooling, an RNA synthesis blocker (actinomycin D), and by specifically ablating the soma of a cell we know is a site of LTM consolidation (right pedal dorsal 1, RPeD1). Aerial respiratory behavior was conditioned operantly by applying a gentle tactile stimulus to the pneumostome area (the respiratory orifice) every time the snail began to open its pneumostome to perform aerial respiration. This resulted in a reduction of this behavior while leaving cutaneous respiration intact. One week after training one-half of the animals received a memory reactivation session, which was similar to the original training (i.e., animals received reinforcement). All animals then received 1 hr of cooling, an injection of actinomycin D or saline, or the soma ablation procedure. This was followed by a test for savings 4 hr or 4 d later, which was also similar to the original training. Only those animals that received both the memory reactivation session and the treatment showed memory impairment during the test for savings. That is, the impairment was contingent on memory reactivation. These data indicate that reconsolidation requires both new RNA and protein synthesis to stabilize a reactivated memory, and it demonstrates that the soma of RPeD1, a cell that we have shown previously to be required in the consolidation of an LTM, is necessary for reconsolidation. These data suggest that the critical molecular processes occurring during both consolidation and reconsolidation transpire in the same cell in Lymnaea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Dactinomycin / pharmacology
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Lymnaea / physiology*
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA / biosynthesis*
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena
  • Temperature
  • Time


  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Dactinomycin
  • RNA