Dissection of memory formation: from behavioral pharmacology to molecular genetics

Trends Neurosci. 1995 May;18(5):212-8. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(95)93905-d.


Behavioral pharmacology has suggested an intricate, multiphasic pathway of memory consolidation. An integrated molecular pharmacological approach in Drosophila has lent support to this theory recently by dissecting consolidated memory into two genetically distinct components: a cycloheximide-insensitive, anesthesia-resistant memory and a cycloheximide-sensitive long-term memory. In addition, experiments using inducible dominant-negative transgenes in Drosophila or gene knockouts in mice demonstrate a role for cAMP-responsive transcription factors in formation of long-term memory. These studies support the application of reverse-genetic strategies, including the use of temporally specific agonists and antagonists, to advance the functional dissection of memory formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Drosophila
  • Genes
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Molecular Biology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors


  • Transcription Factors
  • Cycloheximide
  • Cyclic AMP