Parkinson’s disease (PD) has a range of symptoms, such as bradykinesia, or slow movement. Patients often have trouble adjusting their body position. At the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, researchers have investigated this movement disorder using a PARK15 (an atypical early-onset parkinsonism) zebrafish model and DanioVision.
Zebrafish larvae (96 hpf) were loaded into a 96-well plate and run through a light-dark test in the observation chamber. Pronounced differences were found: morphants were less active or showed no locomotion at all, compared to the control group.
Apomorphine, a typical treatment of PD, restored the level of activity completely in the morphants. However it had no effect on the control group, showing that the dopamine depletion typical of parkinsonism is a key factor leading to suppressed activity levels.
Zhao, T.; Zondervan-van der Linde, H.; Severijnen, L.-A.; Oostra, B.A.; Willemsen, R.; Bonifati, V. (2012). Dopaminergic neuronal loss and dopamine-dependent locomotor defects in Fbxo7-deficient zebrafish. PLOS ONE, 7 (11), e48911.