Age-related learning deficits can be reversible in honeybees Apis mellifera

Nicholas Baker, Florian Wolschin, Gro Amdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many animals are characterized by declining brain function at advanced ages, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). Variation in honeybee social development, moreover, results in individual differences in the progression of aging that may be accelerated, delayed, and sometimes reversed by changes in behavior. Here, we combine manipulations of social development with a measurement of sensory sensitivity, Pavlovian (associative) learning, and a proteomic technique to study the brain of aged honeybees. First, we confirm that sensory sensitivity can remain intact during aging, and that age-associated learning deficits are specific to bees that forage, a behavior typically expressed after a period of nursing activity. These initial data go beyond previous findings by showing how foragers age in social groups of different age compositions and sizes. Thereafter, we establish that learning ability can recover in aged foragers that revert to nursing tasks. Finally, we use liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS2) to describe proteomic differences between central brains, from reverted former foragers that varied in recovery of learning performance, and from nurse bees that varied in learning ability but never foraged. We find that recovery is positively associated with levels of stress response/cellular maintenance proteins in the central brain, while variation in learning before aging is negatively associated with the amounts of metabolic enzymes in the brain tissue. Our work provides the strongest evidence, thus far, for reversibility of learning deficits in aged honeybees, and indicates that recovery-related brain plasticity is connected to cellular stress resilience, maintenance and repair processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-772
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Volume47
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Fingerprint

Bees
Brain
Learning
Nursing
Aging of materials
Aptitude
Recovery
Proteomics
Maintenance
Liquid chromatography
Mass spectrometry
Plasticity
Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Individuality
Liquid Chromatography
Animals
Repair
Tissue
Age Groups
Nurses

Keywords

  • Brain senescence
  • Cytochrome P450
  • Heat shock protein 8
  • LC-MS proteomics
  • Pavlovian learning
  • Peroxiredoxin
  • Recovery-related plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Age-related learning deficits can be reversible in honeybees Apis mellifera. / Baker, Nicholas; Wolschin, Florian; Amdam, Gro.

In: Experimental Gerontology, Vol. 47, No. 10, 10.2012, p. 764-772.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Baker, Nicholas ; Wolschin, Florian ; Amdam, Gro. / Age-related learning deficits can be reversible in honeybees Apis mellifera. In: Experimental Gerontology. 2012 ; Vol. 47, No. 10. pp. 764-772.
@article{22a36b2864e5444a96d461e808d71b7b,
title = "Age-related learning deficits can be reversible in honeybees Apis mellifera",
abstract = "Many animals are characterized by declining brain function at advanced ages, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). Variation in honeybee social development, moreover, results in individual differences in the progression of aging that may be accelerated, delayed, and sometimes reversed by changes in behavior. Here, we combine manipulations of social development with a measurement of sensory sensitivity, Pavlovian (associative) learning, and a proteomic technique to study the brain of aged honeybees. First, we confirm that sensory sensitivity can remain intact during aging, and that age-associated learning deficits are specific to bees that forage, a behavior typically expressed after a period of nursing activity. These initial data go beyond previous findings by showing how foragers age in social groups of different age compositions and sizes. Thereafter, we establish that learning ability can recover in aged foragers that revert to nursing tasks. Finally, we use liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS2) to describe proteomic differences between central brains, from reverted former foragers that varied in recovery of learning performance, and from nurse bees that varied in learning ability but never foraged. We find that recovery is positively associated with levels of stress response/cellular maintenance proteins in the central brain, while variation in learning before aging is negatively associated with the amounts of metabolic enzymes in the brain tissue. Our work provides the strongest evidence, thus far, for reversibility of learning deficits in aged honeybees, and indicates that recovery-related brain plasticity is connected to cellular stress resilience, maintenance and repair processes.",
keywords = "Brain senescence, Cytochrome P450, Heat shock protein 8, LC-MS proteomics, Pavlovian learning, Peroxiredoxin, Recovery-related plasticity",
author = "Nicholas Baker and Florian Wolschin and Gro Amdam",
year = "2012",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1016/j.exger.2012.05.011",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "47",
pages = "764--772",
journal = "Experimental Gerontology",
issn = "0531-5565",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Age-related learning deficits can be reversible in honeybees Apis mellifera

AU - Baker, Nicholas

AU - Wolschin, Florian

AU - Amdam, Gro

PY - 2012/10

Y1 - 2012/10

N2 - Many animals are characterized by declining brain function at advanced ages, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). Variation in honeybee social development, moreover, results in individual differences in the progression of aging that may be accelerated, delayed, and sometimes reversed by changes in behavior. Here, we combine manipulations of social development with a measurement of sensory sensitivity, Pavlovian (associative) learning, and a proteomic technique to study the brain of aged honeybees. First, we confirm that sensory sensitivity can remain intact during aging, and that age-associated learning deficits are specific to bees that forage, a behavior typically expressed after a period of nursing activity. These initial data go beyond previous findings by showing how foragers age in social groups of different age compositions and sizes. Thereafter, we establish that learning ability can recover in aged foragers that revert to nursing tasks. Finally, we use liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS2) to describe proteomic differences between central brains, from reverted former foragers that varied in recovery of learning performance, and from nurse bees that varied in learning ability but never foraged. We find that recovery is positively associated with levels of stress response/cellular maintenance proteins in the central brain, while variation in learning before aging is negatively associated with the amounts of metabolic enzymes in the brain tissue. Our work provides the strongest evidence, thus far, for reversibility of learning deficits in aged honeybees, and indicates that recovery-related brain plasticity is connected to cellular stress resilience, maintenance and repair processes.

AB - Many animals are characterized by declining brain function at advanced ages, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). Variation in honeybee social development, moreover, results in individual differences in the progression of aging that may be accelerated, delayed, and sometimes reversed by changes in behavior. Here, we combine manipulations of social development with a measurement of sensory sensitivity, Pavlovian (associative) learning, and a proteomic technique to study the brain of aged honeybees. First, we confirm that sensory sensitivity can remain intact during aging, and that age-associated learning deficits are specific to bees that forage, a behavior typically expressed after a period of nursing activity. These initial data go beyond previous findings by showing how foragers age in social groups of different age compositions and sizes. Thereafter, we establish that learning ability can recover in aged foragers that revert to nursing tasks. Finally, we use liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS2) to describe proteomic differences between central brains, from reverted former foragers that varied in recovery of learning performance, and from nurse bees that varied in learning ability but never foraged. We find that recovery is positively associated with levels of stress response/cellular maintenance proteins in the central brain, while variation in learning before aging is negatively associated with the amounts of metabolic enzymes in the brain tissue. Our work provides the strongest evidence, thus far, for reversibility of learning deficits in aged honeybees, and indicates that recovery-related brain plasticity is connected to cellular stress resilience, maintenance and repair processes.

KW - Brain senescence

KW - Cytochrome P450

KW - Heat shock protein 8

KW - LC-MS proteomics

KW - Pavlovian learning

KW - Peroxiredoxin

KW - Recovery-related plasticity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84865764277&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84865764277&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.exger.2012.05.011

DO - 10.1016/j.exger.2012.05.011

M3 - Article

C2 - 22626973

AN - SCOPUS:84865764277

VL - 47

SP - 764

EP - 772

JO - Experimental Gerontology

JF - Experimental Gerontology

SN - 0531-5565

IS - 10

ER -