” Ropinirole is a dopamine agonist that is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Restless Leg Syndrome. As an agonist, it has been documented to activate D2 receptors, but has also activated the signaling pathways of D3 and D4 receptors. Although Ropinirole has already been approved by the FDA to be used for human treatment, little to no published research has been done with exposures of this drug to zebrafish. Experimentation with this species could reveal new relationships between behavior, gene expression, and dopaminergic signaling.
A study will be conducted in an effort to understand the impact of Ropinirole in zebrafish by 1) assessing locomotor behavior following treatment with Ropinirole using alternating periods of light and dark (photosensitization) and 2) determining the gene expression profiles of zebrafish following treatment of the chemical. The fact that this investigation combines a behavioral analysis with genetic interpretation will make this a unique addition to the field of research and medicine. “