Authors: Andrew Wengrovitz, Mansi Patel, Nader Ahmadeih, Christopher Souders II, Christopher Martyniuk
Faculty Mentor: Christopher Martyniuk
College: College of Veterinary Medicine
Ropinirole is a dopamine receptor agonist that is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Restless Leg Syndrome. The specific action of ropinirole is to activate D2 receptors, but it can also activate D3 and D4 receptor signaling. Zebrafish have been used to study the pharmacological stimulation and inhibition of dopamine receptors in relation to behavior in order to better understand the role of dopamine signaling in locomotion. In this study, 7-day old zebrafish larvae were exposed to ropinirole at concentrations of 1, 10 and 100 μM for 3 hours. Locomotor behavior was assessed following treatment with ropinirole using alternating periods of light and dark (photosensitization). Since dopamine is critical in cognition and motor movement, we hypothesized that an exposure to ropinirole at critical stages within the developmental zebrafish lifecycle would reduce activity in zebrafish larvae. After experimentation, we found that there was a significant dose response in each of the 3 dark intervals, with no differences between control and fish exposed to ropinirole in the light intervals. We are now examining the effects of ropinirole on the dopamine system of zebrafish at the molecular level. This study aims to associate molecular changes to activity responses in zebrafish.