Neurotoxicant-induced Animal Models of Parkinson’s Disease: Understanding The Role of Rotenone, Maneb and Paraquat in Neurodegeneration

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Parkinson’s Disease, Animal Models, Neurodegeneration, Neurotoxicity, Agricultural Chemicals, α-synuclein

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The etiologic basis of Parkinson’s disease (PD), the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder, is unknown. Recent epidemiological and experimental studies indicate that exposure to environmental agents, including a number of agricultural chemicals, may contribute to the pathogenesis of this disorder. Animal models are important tools in experimental medical science for studying the pathogenesis and therapeutic intervention strategies of human diseases. Since many human disorders do not arise spontaneously in animals, characteristic functional changes have to be mimicked by neurotoxic agents. Recently, agricultural chemicals, when administrated systemically, have been shown to reproduce specific features of PD in rodents, thus opening new routes for the development of animal models for this disorder. In addition to a brief historical overview of the toxin-induced PD models, this study provides a detailed description of exiting models in which Parkinsonism is initiated via the exposure of animals to such agricultural chemicals as rotenone, paraquat, and maneb. Suggested neurotoxicity mechanisms of these chemicals are considered, and the major lessons learned from the analysis of pesticide-induced PD models are discussed.

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Cell and Tissue Research, v. 318, p. 225-241