Parkinson's assay

The 3Z Parkinson's Disease Assay gives a clear picture of pharmaceutical effects on motor activity.

By analysing behavioural patterns of zebrafish larvae en masse we can elegantly show which compounds most positively affect motor patterns in dopamine deficient larvae.

Using behavioural patterns in research

3Z Pharmaceuticals has developed a concise and effective way of evaluating drug potential, using behavioural patterns of zebrafish larvae in large numbers.

We not only study the individual zebrafish, but super-charge our analysis with advanced analytical software that opens up a new dimension within the zebrafish drug research model.

This unique approach presents vivid information otherwise invisible when performing research on zebrafish, let alone on other vertebrate models.

zebrafish larva through microscope

Increasing efficiency in drug research

Parallel in vivo monitoring of thousands at a time
Dramatically lower early costs during drug discovery
Get in touch for more information on our Parkinson's Disease Assay: +354-599-6434

Small-scale demonstration

We demonstrated the protective effect of GDNF on neurotransmitter levels with medical imaging on a one-by-one basis (see below).

With these results in hand we were able to develop a behavioural model for large-scale use in Parkinson's drug development.

By using the 3Z Parkinson's Assay companies are now able to screen compounds much faster and more cost-effectively than before.

Larval zebrafish brain (7 days, naive).

Larval zebrafish brain (7 days, no interference). Dopamine precursor (tyrosine hydroxylase) shown as bright green.

Larval zebrafish brain showing dopamine deficiency. (7 days, MPP+). No dopamine precursor (TH) visible.

Larval zebrafish brainĀ  (7 days, MPP+) showing dopamine deficiency as a result of MPP+, which induces Parkinson's disease. No dopamine precursor (TH) visible in brain stem.


Larval zebrafish brainĀ (7 days, MPP+/GDNF) showing successful treatment with glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor. Dopamine precursor levels (TH) restored.

Large-scale implementation

Having been the first to establish a clear efficacy of GDNF for protecting zebrafish dopamine neurons against degradation, we took our findings and developed a behavioural model that elegantly mirrors traditional approaches.

Now this can be repeated in large scale studies for unprecedented efficiency; with this approach you can easily screen a very large number of molecules for maximum cost-effectiveness.

Behaviour as Parkinson's indicator

Our zebrafish behavioural model shows how your compound affects motor activity

We have developed a new and promising way of demonstrating how different pharmaceutical compounds can affect dopamine levels in brain stem tissue.

Our approach analyzes the behaviour of zebrafish larvae and we have shown a direct correlation between swim speed and TH (dopamine precursor) levels.

This graph shows, through swim speed, how GDNF protects dopamine neurons from the negative effects of MPP+.

Where GDNF was given, no detrimental MPP+ effect was seen on swim speed.

Swim speed
Dopamine precursor (TH)

Swim speed is a clear indicator

Want to speed up your Parkinson's project?

Drop us a line about your drug development project and we'll respond quickly.


3Z ehf.
Menntavegur 1
101 Reykjavik
tel.: +354-599-6434
email: info (at)