143 | Analysis of phosphodiesterase 4, DUNCE, in contextual memory and memory generalization

Cognition, Behavior, and Memory

Author: Agustina Belén Pivato | Email: abpivato@gmail.com

Agustina Belén Pivato , Mario Rafael Pagani

1° Universidad de Buenos Aires—Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Facultad de Medicina, Instituto de Fisiología y Biofísica Bernardo Houssay (IFIBIO)-Houssay, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Intellectual disability affects 1.5 to 3 percent of the global population, impacting directly on an individual’s development and quality of life. Memory generalization is a cognitive function that allows the individual to apply certain acquired information or skill in a similar situation in the future. Generalization is impaired in individuals with intellectual disability. This work is part of a larger investigation that aims to understand the molecular and neural mechanisms implicated in generalization. Preliminary results showed that a reduced expression of dunce promotes overgeneralization. In the work presented here, we enhanced the expression of the dunce gene in all neurons. Assuming then an increase in the dunce protein, a decrease in cAMP and PKA activation was expected, which we propose to be associated with a reduction in generalization and thus a more specific memory formation. In order to test this hypothesis, double transgenic flies and parental controls were exposed to a context and then tested in the same, a similar or a different context. Memory recall was assessed measuring the distance traveled in these contexts, understanding normal behavior as recognition memory in the same context, generalization in the similar context, and no recalling in the different context. Contrary to expectations, preliminary results show that the overexpression of dunce gene has no effect on either recognition memory or generalization compared to its parental controls.