Spontaneous recovery of the injured higher olfactory center in the terrestrial slug Limax

Ryota Matsuo*, Suguru Kobayashi, Jun Murakami, Etsuro Ito

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Of all organs and tissues in adult mammals, the brain shows the most limited regeneration and recovery after injury. This is one reason why treating neurological damage such as ischemic injury after stroke presents such a challenge. Here we report a novel mode of regeneration which the slug's cognitive center, the procerebrum, shows after surgical lesioning in the adult. It is well known that the land slug Limax possesses the capacity to demonstrate conditioned food aversion. This learning ability critically depends on the procerebrum, which is the higher olfactory center in the brain of the terrestrial mollusk. Principal Findings: In the present study, after a 1-month recovery period post-surgical lesioning of the procerebrum we investigated whether the brain of the slug shows recovery from damage. We found that learning ability, local field potential oscillation, and the number of cells in the procerebrum (PC) all recovered spontaneously within 1 month of bilateral lesioning of the PC. Moreover, neurogenesis was enhanced in the lesioned PC. However, memory acquired before the surgery could not be retrieved 1 month after surgery although the procerebrum had recovered from injury by this time, consistent with the notion that the procerebrum is the storage site of odor-aversion memory, or deeply involved in the memory recall process. Significance: Our findings are the first to demonstrate that a brain region responsible for the associative memory of an adult organism can spontaneously reconstitute itself, and can recover its function following injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9054
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb 8
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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