The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis learns conditioned taste aversion (CTA) and consolidates it into long-term memory (LTM). How well they learn and form memory depends on the degree of food deprivation. Serotonin (5-HT) plays an important role in mediating feeding, and insulin enhances the memory consolidation process following CTA training. However, the relationship between these two signaling pathways has not been addressed. We measured the 5-HT content in the central nervous system (CNS) of snails subjected to different durations of food deprivation. One-day food-deprived snails, which exhibit the best learning and memory, had the lowest 5-HT content in the CNS, whereas 5-day food-deprived snails, which do not learn, had a high 5-HT content. Immersing 1-day food-deprived snails in 5-HT impaired learning and memory by causing an increase in 5-HT content, and that the injection of insulin into these snails reversed this impairment. We conclude that insulin rescues the CTA deficit and this may be due to a decrease in the 5-HT content in the CNS of Lymnaea.
ASJC Scopus subject areas