Transcriptome analysis and identification of regulators for long-term plasticity in Aplysia kurodai

The marine mollusk Aplysia is a useful model organism for studying the cellular bases of behavior and plasticity. However, molecular studies of Aplysia have been limited by the lack of genomic information. Recently, a large scale characterization of neuronal transcripts was performed in A. californica. Here, we report the analysis of a parallel set of neuronal transcripts from a closely related species A. kurodai found in the northwestern Pacific. We collected 4,859 nonredundant sequences from the nervous system tissue of A. kurodai. By performing microarray and real-time PCR analyses, we found that ApC/EBP, matrilin, antistasin, and eIF3e clones were significantly up-regulated and a BAT1 homologous clone was significantly down-regulated by 5-HT treatment. Among these, we further demonstrated that the Ap-eIF3e plays a key role in 5-HT-induced long-term facilitation (LTF) as a positive regulator.