Early Pheromone Experience Modifies a Synaptic Activity to Influence Adult Pheromone Responses of C. elegans

Myeongjin Hong, Leesun Ryu, Maria C. Ow, Jinmahn Kim, A. Reum Je, Satya Chinta, Yang Hoon Huh, Kea Joo Lee, Rebecca A. Butcher, Hongsoo Choi, Piali Sengupta, Sarah E. Hall, Kyuhyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experiences during early development can influence neuronal functions and modulate adult behaviors [1, 2]. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the long-term behavioral effects of these early experiences are not fully understood. The C. elegans ascr#3 (asc-ΔC9; C9) pheromone triggers avoidance behavior in adult hermaphrodites [3–7]. Here, we show that hermaphrodites that are briefly exposed to ascr#3 immediately after birth exhibit increased ascr#3-specific avoidance as adults, indicating that ascr#3-experienced animals form a long-lasting memory or imprint of this early ascr#3 exposure [8]. ascr#3 imprinting is mediated by increased synaptic activity between the ascr#3-sensing ADL neurons and their post-synaptic SMB motor neuron partners via increased expression of the odr-2 glycosylated phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked signaling gene in the SMB neurons. Our study suggests that the memory for early ascr#3 experience is imprinted via alteration of activity of a single synaptic connection, which in turn shapes experience-dependent plasticity in adult ascr#3 responses. Hong et al. show that early pheromone experience in C. elegans hermaphrodites is imprinted via alteration of activity of a single synaptic connection and, in turn, modulates behavioral responses to the pheromone as adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3168-3177.e3
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume27
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 23 2017

Keywords

  • GPI-anchored protein
  • neuronal activity
  • pheromone
  • sensory imprinting
  • synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Early Pheromone Experience Modifies a Synaptic Activity to Influence Adult Pheromone Responses of C. elegans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this