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 0.05 M sucrose stimuli but were not seen when 0.1 M 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.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Neurbiology of Aging|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2006|