In this study we assessed the effect of acteoside that significantly improved cell viability and inhibited lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Furthermore acteoside prevented a neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+)-induced apoptosis in CGNs. Accordingly, our flow cytometric analysis of CGNs after acteoside treatment revealed a decrease in the number of the MPP+-induced apoptotic cells (P < 0.001). Western blot analysis demonstrated that acteoside inhibits the active caspase-3 fragment (17 kDa) (P < 0.001) and the proteolytic poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) fragment (85 kDa) expression (P < 0.001) following MPP + treatment in CGNs. We conclude that acteoside prevents the MPP+-induced apoptosis and inhibits the apoptosis-related pathway.