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Symptomatic Models of Parkinson’s Disease and L-DOPA-Induced Dyskinesia in Non-human Primates

  • Tom M. Johnston
  • Susan H. FoxEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 22)

Abstract

Models of Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be produced in several non-human primate (NHP) species by applying neurotoxic lesions to the nigrostriatal dopamine pathway. The most commonly used neurotoxin is MPTP, a compound accidentally discovered as a contaminant of street drugs. Compared to other neurotoxins, MPTP has the advantage of crossing the blood–brain barrier and can thus be administered systemically. MPTP-lesioned NHPs exhibit the main core clinical features of PD. When treated with L-DOPA, these NHP models develop involuntary movements resembling the phenomenology of human dyskinesias. In old-world NHP species (macaques, baboons), choreic and dystonic dyskinesias can be readily distinguished and quantified with specific rating scales. More recently, certain non-motor symptoms relevant to human PD have been described in L-DOPA-treated MPTP-NHPs, including a range of neuropsychiatric abnormalities and sleep disturbances. The main shortcomings of MPTP-NHP models consist in a lack of progression of the underlying neurodegenerative lesion, along with an inability to model the intracellular protein-inclusion pathology typical of PD. The strength of MPTP-NHP models lies in their face and predictive validity for symptomatic treatments of parkinsonian motor features. Indeed, these models have been instrumental to the development of several medical and surgical approaches that are currently applied to treat PD.

Keywords

6-hydroxydopamine MPTP Non-human primate Dyskinesia Non-motor 

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Toronto Western Research InstituteUniversity of Toronto, Toronto Western HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Division of NeurologyUniversity of Toronto, Toronto Western HospitalTorontoCanada

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