, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 484–494 | Cite as

Toxin-induced models of Parkinson’s disease

  • Jordi Bové
  • Delphine Prou
  • Céline Perier
  • Serge Przedborski


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease that appears essentially as a sporadic condition. It results mainly from the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. PD etiology remains mysterious, whereas its pathogenesis begins to be understood as a multifactorial cascade of deleterious factors. Most insights into PD pathogenesis come from investigations performed in experimental models of PD, especially those produced by neurotoxins. Although a host of natural and synthetic molecules do exert deleterious effects on dopaminergic neurons, only a handful are used in living laboratory animals to recapitulate some of the hallmarks of PD. In this review, we discuss what we believe are the four most popular parkinsonian neurotoxins, namely 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), rotenone, and paraquat. The main goal is to provide an updated summary of the main characteristics of each of these four neurotoxins. However, we also try to provide the reader with an idea about the various strengths and the weaknesses of these neurotoxic models.

Key Words

Parkinson’s disease experimental models neurodegeneration pathogenesis 6-hydroxydopamine MPTP rotenone paraquat 


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Copyright information

© The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jordi Bové
    • 1
  • Delphine Prou
    • 1
  • Céline Perier
    • 1
  • Serge Przedborski
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Neurology and Pathology, and the Center for Neurobiology and BehaviorColumbia UniversityNew York

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