Previous clinical and experimental work has shown that increased dietary intake of choline elevates blood choline and brain acetylcholine levels. This change in neuronal acetylcholine concentration may augment learning and memory functions. We tested this prediction using the mollusc Limax maximus, an animal which can be readily conditioned to avoid food odors. In our experiments, initial learning of a food avoidance task was not augmented by the high choline diet. However, the duration of memory retention was prolonged. In previous studies, we have shown that intake of the choline enriched diet significantly increases blood choline and amplifies transmission at an identified cholinergic synapse in Limax. Together, these results support the involvement of cholinergic synapses in the memory retention mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience