Parkinson’s disease (PD) has caused most economies to lose their active human capital.
Due to poor understanding of the pathophysiology of PD, PD animal models were developed to aid
the investigation of PD pathogenesis and therapy. Currently, the toxin-induced and the genetic animal
models are being used for most PD research.
Most neurotoxin animal model studies on PD are focused on the motor features and economic importance
associated with dopamine depletion; however, the molecular pathways for cell loss by
these models and its usefulness in PD drug development have not been reported fully. In this review,
we have provided a summary of the toxic mechanism and shortcomings of four neurotoxins (6-OHDA,
MPTP, Rotenone and, Paraquat) that are frequently used to mimic PD in animal models. This review
will give readers basic knowledge for selecting the best toxin for a specific PD experiment and
also provide information that will help in the future development of toxins with fewer shortcomings.
This review also summarizes the mechanism and features of some PD genetic models.