Aging specifically impairs amnesiac-dependent memory in Drosophila

Neuron. 2003 Dec 4;40(5):1003-11. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(03)00732-3.


Age-related memory impairment (AMI) is observed in many species. However, it is uncertain whether AMI results from a specific or a nonspecific decay in memory processing. In Drosophila, memory acquired after a single olfactory conditioning paradigm has three distinct phases: short-term memory (STM), middle-term memory (MTM), and longer-lasting anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM). Here, we demonstrate that age-related defects in olfactory memory are identical to those of the MTM mutant amnesiac (amn). Furthermore, amn flies do not exhibit an age-dependent decrease in memory, in contrast to other memory mutants. The absence of AMI in amn flies is restored by expression of an amn transgene predominantly in DPM cells. Thus, we propose that AMI in flies results from a specific decrease in amn-dependent MTM.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Amnesia / genetics
  • Amnesia / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Mutation
  • Neuropeptides / genetics*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • amn protein, Drosophila