The structures and functions of many genes are homologous in Drosophilaand humans. Therefore, studying pathological processes in Drosophila, in particular neurogenerative processes accompanied by progressive memory loss, helps to understand the ethiology of corresponding human disorders and to develop therapeutic strategies. It is believed that the development of neurogenerative diseases might result from alterations in the functioning of the heat shock/chaperone machinery. In view of this, we used Drosophila mutant l(1)ts403 with defective synthesis of heat shock proteins for studying learning and memory in a test of conditioned courtship suppression following a heat shock given at different developmental stages. High learning indices were registered immediately and 30 min after training both in the intact controls and in flies subjected to different developmental heat shocks. This indicated normal learning and memory acquisition in the mutant. At the same time, memory retention (3 h after training) suffered to different extent depending on the developmental stage. The remote effects of heat shock given during the formation of the mushroom bodies indicated the important role of this brain structure in the memory formation. The observed memory defects may result from alterations both in mRNA transport and in the functions of molecular chaperones in the l(1)ts403 mutant.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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