The Beneficial Effects of Dietary Restriction on Learning
A recent study has identified kynurenic acid depletion as being an important factor for enhanced learning during brief dietary restriction. This study has isolated learning from longevity in their testing.
Regulation of insulin signaling by dietary restriction (DR) modulates lifespan in many organisms, and it has been also shown to enhance learning and memory. However, the underlying mechanisms of these processes are largely unknown due to the difficulty in disentangling the systemic effects of DR from any potentially brain-specific effects. Here, we have analyzed the molecular effects of dietary restriction in C. elegans and show that associative learning is enhanced by reducing production of the tryptophan metabolite kynurenic acid (KYNA).