Journal Article Artificial Induction of Associative Olfactory Memory by Optogenetic and Thermogenetic Activation of Olfactory Sensory Neurons and Octopaminergic Neurons in Drosophila Larvae

Honda, Takato  ,  Lee, Chi-Yu  ,  Honjo, Ken  ,  Furukubo-Tokunaga, Katsuo

10p.137 , 2016-06 , Frontiers
The larval brain of Drosophila melanogaster provides an excellent system for the study of the neurocircuitry mechanism of memory. Recent development of neurogenetic techniques in fruit flies enables manipulations of neuronal activities in freely behaving animals. This protocol describes detailed steps for artificial induction of olfactory associative memory in Drosophila larvae. In this protocol, the natural reward signal is substituted by thermogenetic activation of octopaminergic neurons in the brain. In parallel, the odor signal is substituted by optogenetic activation of a specific class of olfactory receptor neurons. Association of reward and odor stimuli is achieved with the concomitant application of blue light and heat that leads to activation of both sets of neurons in living transgenic larvae. Given its operational simplicity and robustness, this method could be utilized to further our knowledge on the neurocircuitry mechanism of memory in the fly brain.

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