Fasting Launches CRTC to Facilitate Long-Term Memory Formation in Drosophila

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Science  25 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6118, pp. 443-446
DOI: 10.1126/science.1227170

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Canonical aversive long-term memory (LTM) formation in Drosophila requires multiple spaced trainings, whereas appetitive LTM can be formed after a single training. Appetitive LTM requires fasting prior to training, which increases motivation for food intake. However, we found that fasting facilitated LTM formation in general; aversive LTM formation also occurred after single-cycle training when mild fasting was applied before training. Both fasting-dependent LTM (fLTM) and spaced training–dependent LTM (spLTM) required protein synthesis and cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element–binding protein (CREB) activity. However, spLTM required CREB activity in two neural populations—mushroom body and DAL neurons—whereas fLTM required CREB activity only in mushroom body neurons. fLTM uses the CREB coactivator CRTC, whereas spLTM uses the coactivator CBP. Thus, flies use distinct LTM machinery depending on their hunger state.

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