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eLife Sciences Publications

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DOI: 10.7554/eLife.83348


Animals must learn to ignore stimuli that are irrelevant to survival and attend to ones that enhance survival. When a stimulus regularly fails to be associated with an important consequence, subsequent excitatory learning about that stimulus can be delayed, which is a form of nonassociative conditioning called ‘latent inhibition’. Honey bees show latent inhibition toward an odor they have experienced without association with food reinforcement. Moreover, individual honey bees from the same colony differ in the degree to which they show latent inhibition, and these individual differences have a genetic basis. To investigate the mechanisms that underly individual differences in latent inhibition, we selected two honey bee lines for high and low latent inhibition, respectively. We crossed those lines and mapped a Quantitative Trait Locus for latent inhibition to a region of the genome that contains the tyramine receptor gene Amtyr1 [We use Amtyr1 to denote the gene and AmTYR1 the receptor throughout the text.]. We then show that disruption of Amtyr1 signaling either pharmacologically or through RNAi qualitatively changes the expression of latent inhibition but has little or slight effects on appetitive conditioning, and these results suggest that AmTYR1 modulates inhibitory processing in the CNS. Electrophysiological recordings from the brain during pharmacological blockade are consistent with a model that AmTYR1 indirectly regulates at inhibitory synapses in the CNS. Our results therefore identify a distinct Amtyr1-based modulatory pathway for this type of nonassociative learning, and we propose a model for how Amtyr1 acts as a gain control to modulate hebbian plasticity at defined synapses in the CNS. We have shown elsewhere how this modulation also underlies potentially adaptive intracolonial learning differences among individuals that benefit colony survival. Finally, our neural model suggests a mechanism for the broad pleiotropy this gene has on several different behaviors.


Published version. eLife, Vol. 12 (2023). DOI. © 2023, Latshaw et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

Chelsea Cook was affiliated with Arizona State University, Tempe at the time of publication.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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