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Open Access 1-Methyl-4-Phenyl-1,2,3,6-Tetrahydropyridine-Lesioned Model of Parkinson's Disease, with Emphasis on Mice and Nonhuman Primates

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Animal models play a critical role in our understanding of the cause of human diseases and provide an opportunity to evaluate new therapeutic treatments. The usefulness of an animal model is dependent, in part, on how closely it resembles neurochemical, neuropathologic, and behavioral features of the human condition. Other considerations that may enhance the value of a model include expense, availability, reproducibility, animal morbidity and mortality, and investigator experience. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by slow movements, tremor, and walking impairment due to loss of midbrain nigrostriatal neurons and depletion of striatal dopamine. In the PD research field, a number of neurotoxic, pharmacologic, and transgenic animal models are available for research studies. We will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-lesioned mouse and nonhuman primate models of PD. Our goal is to guide researchers in the appropriateness of the MPTP models in their studies by balancing understanding of the models, objectives of the study, and health and safety of the animals. In addition, the technical use and safe handling of MPTP are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The George and MaryLou Boone Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Research Center, Department of Neurology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Publication date: 2004-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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