1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) has been shown to induce parkinsonism both in man and non-human primates. Several models have now been developed, but acute MPTP administration does not consistently reproduce all the clinical features of the disease. To mirror the slow evolution observed in human pathology, a chronic model of intoxication is necessary. The present study describes a chronic MPTP protocol in the monkey. Six monkeys received daily injections of MPTP (0.2 mg/kg i.v.) until they reached a score over 8 on the clinical rating scale (15.5 days +/- 1.1). Full parkinsonism was first obtained on the 22nd day. Levodopa testing (20 mg/kg per os) alleviated motor abnormalities (51%), proving the parkinsonian nature of these disturbances. Histological lesions reproduced those observed in Parkinson's disease with a decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity of 90%. This model so could be of great interest for the study of the dynamic physiopathological changes which occur in Parkinson's disease and consequently for research on new neuroprotective therapies.