Differential induction of long-term synaptic facilitation by spaced and massed applications of serotonin at sensory neuron synapses of Aplysia californica

Juliane Mauelshagen, Carolyn M. Sherff, Thomas J. Carew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Serotonin (5HT)-induced facilitation of synaptic transmission from tail sensory neurons (SNs) to motor neurons (MNs) in the marine mollusc Aplysia provides a cellular model of short- and long-term memory for behavioral sensitization of the tail withdrawal reflex. Synaptic facilitation at these synapses occurs in three temporal phases: short-term (STF, lasting minutes), intermediate-term (ITF, lasting more than an hour), and long-term (LTF, lasting >24 hr). STF, ITF, and LTF differ in their induction requirements: A single brief exposure of 5HT induces STF, whereas five applications are required for ITF and LTF. Moreover, STF and LTF can be induced independently. Different forms of memory often show differential sensitivity to the pattern of training trials. To begin to explore this effect at a cellular level, we examined ITF and LTF induced by one of two patterns of 5HT application: a spaced pattern (five 5-min exposures with an interval of 15 min) or a massed pattern (one continuous 25-min application). The spaced and massed patterns both induced ITF; however, spaced 5HT application was significantly more reliable at inducing LTF than was massed application. Thus, whereas induction of ITF and LTF require similar amounts of 5HT, the cellular mechanisms underlying the induction of LTF are more sensitive to the pattern of the induction trials. In the massed group, further analysis revealed a relationship between the expression of ITF and the subsequent expression of LTF, suggesting that these two processes may be mechanistically related.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-256
Number of pages11
JournalLearning and Memory
Volume5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

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Aplysia
Sensory Receptor Cells
Synapses
Tail
Serotonin
Long-Term Memory
Mollusca
Motor Neurons
Synaptic Transmission
Reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Differential induction of long-term synaptic facilitation by spaced and massed applications of serotonin at sensory neuron synapses of Aplysia californica. / Mauelshagen, Juliane; Sherff, Carolyn M.; Carew, Thomas J.

In: Learning and Memory, Vol. 5, No. 3, 1998, p. 246-256.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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