A tale on animal models of Parkinson's disease

Mov Disord. 2011 May;26(6):993-1002. doi: 10.1002/mds.23696.


Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder whose cardinal manifestations are due primarily to a profound deficit in brain dopamine. Since the 1980s, several therapeutic strategies have been discovered to treat the symptoms of this neurological disorder, but as of yet, none halts or retards the neurodegenerative process. In an attempt to shed light on the neurobiology of Parkinson's disease, a number of experimental models have been developed, especially during the last 25 years. They come essentially in 3 flavors: pharmacological (eg, reserpine), toxic (eg, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine), and genetic (eg, transgenic synuclein mice). These models can also be recast as etiologic, pathogenic, and symptomatic/pathophysiologic, as each may contribute to our understanding of the cause, the mechanisms, and the treatment of Parkinson's disease. In this review, we will discuss the question of Parkinson's disease models, starting from the period when this journal was born to today. During this journey of 25 years, we will discuss both the significant contributions of the Parkinson's disease models and hurdles that remain to be overcome to one day cure this neurological disease.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease* / etiology
  • Parkinson Disease* / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease* / history