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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cellular analog of differential classical conditioning in Aplysia: disruption by the NMDA receptor antagonist DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate.

We previously showed that the associative enhancement of Aplysia siphon sensorimotor synapses in a cellular analog of classical conditioning is disrupted by infusing the Ca(2+) chelator 1, 2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N-N',N'-tetraacetic acid into the postsynaptic motor neuron before training or by training in the presence of the NMDA receptor antagonist DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV). Our earlier experiments with APV used a nondifferential training protocol, in which different preparations were used for associative and nonassociative training. In the present experiments we extended our investigation of the role of NMDA receptor type potentiation in learning in Aplysia to differential conditioning. A cellular analog of differential conditioning was performed with a reduced preparation that consisted of the CNS plus two pedal nerves. A siphon motor neuron and two siphon sensory neurons, both of which were presynaptically connected to the motor neuron, were impaled with sharp microelectrodes. One sensorimotor synapse received paired stimulation with a conditioned stimulus (brief activation of a single sensory neuron) and an unconditioned stimulus (pedal nerve shock), whereas the other sensorimotor synapse received unpaired stimulation. Training in normal artificial seawater (ASW) resulted in significant differential enhancement of synapses that received the paired stimulation. Training in APV blocked this differential synaptic enhancement. A comparison of the present data with the data from earlier experiments that used nondifferential training is consistent with the possibility that differential training comprises competition between the presynaptic sensory neurons. Synaptic competition may contribute significantly to the associative effect of paired stimulation in the differential training paradigm.[1]


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