Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a complex, multi-system, neurodegenerative disorder; PD patients exhibit motor symptoms (such as akinesia/bradykinesia, tremor, rigidity, and postural instability) due to a loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, and non-motor symptoms such as hyposmia, autonomic disturbance, depression, and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), which precedes motor symptoms. Pathologically, α-synuclein deposition is observed in the central and peripheral nervous system of sporadic PD patients. To clarify the mechanism of neurodegeneration in PD and to develop treatment to slow or stop PD progression, there is a great need for experimental models which reproduce neurological features of PD. Animal models exposed to rotenone, a commonly used pesticide, have received most attention since Greenamyre and his colleagues reported that chronic exposure to rotenone could reproduce the anatomical, neurochemical, behavioral, and neuropathological features of PD. In addition, recent studies demonstrated that rotenone induced neuropathological change not only in the central nervous system but also in the peripheral nervous system in animals. In this article, we review rotenone models especially focused on reproducibility of central and peripheral multiple features of PD. This review also highlights utility of rotenone models for investigation of PD pathogenesis and development of disease-modifying drugs for PD in future.
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