Amino acids and memory consolidation in the cricket II: Effect of injected amino acids and opioids on memory

The effect of injections of selected amino acids on memory, given before a maze-learning, was investigated. Thirsty crickets (Pteronemobius sp.) were trained to turn only to one side of a symmetrical Y-shaped maze using reinforcements with water. The insects retained the learned task 24 hr later. N2 anoxia applied immediately after training produced retrograde amnesia. Injections of Ala, Arg, Gln or morphine prior to training blocked the amnesic action of anoxia, whereas those of Cys, Met, Pro, Orn, octapamine or naloxone did not. Naloxone blocked long-term memory formation, but not learning, whereas Pro and Orn blocked both. The antiamnesic effect of morphine and Arg, but not that of Ala, was blocked by naloxone. A hypothesis assigning a neuromodulatory role to some amino acids is put forward.