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Acquisition of nociceptive sensitization in common snails was accompanied by long-term facilitation of the responses of defensive behavior command neuron LPl1 to sensory stimulation of chemoreceptors on the head and mechanoreceptors on the head and foot. Acquisition of sensitization during intracellular administration of antisense oligonucleotides to mRNA encoding the early gene zif268 showed suppression of synaptic facilitation in the responses of neuron LPl1 to tactile and chemical stimulation of the snail's head. Synaptic facilitation in the responses to tactile stimulation of the foot developed as in neurons of control sensitized animals. These results suggest that the early gene zif268 is selectively involved in the mechanisms of the specific regulation of the synaptic inputs of neuron LPl1 from sensory receptors on the snail's head.