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Zebrafish Parkinson's Disease Modeling Service

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the movement of a person. It is caused by the degeneration and death of dopamine-producing neurons in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive condition that is currently incurable. However, treatments are available that manage symptoms and improve the quality of life.

Zebrafish As A Parkinson's Model ​

In Parkinson’s disease research, zebrafish have proven to be an invaluable animal model due to their remarkable similarities to humans, including a similar nervous system and genetic makeup. Zebrafish are often used in Parkinson’s research in the following ways: 

  • Modeling Parkinson’s disease using genetically modified or chemically-treated zebrafish mutants to study the mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease and to test potential treatments.
  • Identifying potential therapies through drug or compound screening. 
  • Understanding the genetics of Parkinson’s to study the function of Parkinson’s disease genes and identifing new genes that may be involved in the disease.

Our Comprehensive Approach to Zebrafish Modeling

Zebrafish are transparent during the early development stages, providing researchers a unique window to instantly observe the impacts of various compounds on their neuronal structures.

Larval zebrafish can be a particularly insightful model of Parkinson’s disease (PD) phenotypes because the developing zebrafish nervous system has been extensively studied, and is homologous to many aspects of the human nervous system. The similarities between the human and zebrafish dopaminergic system are especially useful. The zebrafish ventral telencephalon is considered homologous to the mammalian striatum (Stewart et al., 2014), a brain region that plays a critical role in motor and cognitive behaviors, and is connected to the substantia nigra via dopaminergic projections (Redgrave et al., 2010).

Zebrafish Genome-Editing Services

Disease Models Creation

Library Screening | InVivo Biosystems

Compound Screening

Epilepsy Approach | InVivo Biosystems

Behavior Assessment/Phenotype measurements

Our Offerings

Compound testing using a chemical model or genetically modified zebrafish model.
  • For a chemical model, we can expose zebrafish larvae to a chemical that induces a disease-like state and measure phenotypic behavior.
  • For a genetically modified model, we can edit the client’s gene of interest to model a specific disease, then measure phenotypic behavior.

Our Services

  1. Genetically modified zebrafish mutants for modeling Parkinson’s disease.
  2. Compound screening & behavior assessment.

A chemical approach will be taken to induce Parkinson’s phenotypes. Compound screening can also use genetic models.

Behavior assessments

Age-matched animals from at least two different groups are compared. The animals are recorded responding to stimuli such as light/dark cycling and vibration. The software identifies and tracks animals to quantify many aspects of behavior, including:

  • Velocity 
  • Light/dark Locomotor Reaction
  • Vibrational Startle Reflex
  • Overall Distance Covered

What data do we provide?

  • Locomotory activity: since Parkinson’s is primarily a movement disorder, we provide an overall readout of locomotion.
  • Thigmotaxis measurements: a readout of anxiety (a common symptom in Parkinson’s patients).
  • Whole mount brain imaging of dopaminergic neurons.


The DanioVision software tracks the behavior of individual zebrafish larvae over time as they explore an arena.

PQT-induced Parkinson’s zebrafish model tested for Luciole Pharmaceuticals. 

Compound X Rescues PQT-induced loss of movement. PQT-treated larvae show a strong decrease in locomotion as measured by distance moved during dark stimulation (pink line). In this example, treatment with the test compound induces a recovery of movement (green line) that is comparable to the control phenotype of untreated animals (black line).  

Our Method for compound testing and behavior assessment

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