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Classic animal models of Parkinson’s disease

a historical perspective

Hamadjida, Adjiaa,b; Frouni, Imaned; Kwan, Cynthiaa,b; Huot, Philippea,b,c,d,e

doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000441

The quest to better understand the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and to find new therapies to provide greater relief to affected patients continues. The use of animal models of PD has been invaluable in the process. Here, we review, through a historical lens, some of the contribution of the 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rat and of the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-lesioned nonhuman primate, in refining our understanding of PD and its treatment-related complications. We examine the mechanisms underlying the toxicity of 6-hydroxydopamine and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, and then explore some of the advances at the molecular, pharmacological, electrophysiological and surgical levels made while experimenting on these animal models. We also discuss behavioural testing that can be performed with these animal models and highlight some of their limitations.

aNeurodegenerative Disease Group, Montreal Neurological Institute

bIntegrated Program in Neuroscience

cDepartment of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University

dDepartment of Pharmacology and Physiology, Université de Montréal

eDivision of Neurology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Correspondence to Philippe Huot, MD, PhD, Montreal Neurological Institute, 3801 University Street, BT 205, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 2B4 E-mail:

Received April 11, 2018

Accepted August 7, 2018

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