Author(s): Arundell M, Patel BA, Straub V, Allen MC, Janse C, O'Hare D, Parker K, Gard PR, Yeoman MS
Abstract: This study used behavioral and electrophysiological techniques to examine age-related changes in the feeding behavior and chemosensory processing in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. Increasing age was associated with a 50% decrease in long-term food consumption. Analysis of short-term sucrose-evoked feeding bouts showed an age-related increase in the number of animals that failed to respond to the stimulus. Of the animals that did respond increasing age was associated with a decrease in the number of sucrose-evoked bites and a increase in the duration of the swallow phase. These changes were observed with both 0.01 and 0.05M sucrose stimuli but were not seen when 0.1M sucrose was used as the stimulus. Electrophysiological analysis of the chemosensory pathway in semi-intact lip-CNS preparations failed to demonstrate a significant change in the neuronal information entering the cerebral ganglia from the lips via the median lip nerve, but did demonstrate an age-related deficit in the neuronal output from the cerebral ganglia. This deficit was also dependent on the sucrose concentration and mirrored the concentration-dependent changes in feeding behavior. In summary, aging appeared to affect central but not peripheral processing of chemosensory information and suggests that this deficit contributes to the age-related changes in feeding behavior.
Keywords: Aging/ physiology Animals Chemoreceptors/metabolism/ physiology Eating/physiology Feeding Behavior/ physiology Lymnaea/ physiology Nerve Net/physiology Protein Processing, Post-Translational