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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 487450, 25 pages
Review Article

The Endotoxin-Induced Neuroinflammation Model of Parkinson's Disease

Department of Neuroscience, Health Science Institute, Dokuz Eylul University, Inciralti, 35340 Izmir, Turkey

Received 14 September 2010; Revised 18 November 2010; Accepted 16 December 2010

Academic Editor: Enrico Schmidt

Copyright © 2011 Kemal Ugur Tufekci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra. Although the exact cause of the dopaminergic neurodegeneration remains elusive, recent postmortem and experimental studies have revealed an essential role for neuroinflammation that is initiated and driven by activated microglial and infiltrated peripheral immune cells and their neurotoxic products (such as proinflammatory cytokines, reactive oxygen species, and nitric oxide) in the pathogenesis of PD. A bacterial endotoxin-based experimental model of PD has been established, representing a purely inflammation-driven animal model for the induction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration. This model, by itself or together with genetic and toxin-based animal models, provides an important tool to delineate the precise mechanisms of neuroinflammation-mediated dopaminergic neuron loss. Here, we review the characteristics of this model and the contribution of neuroinflammatory processes, induced by the in vivo administration of bacterial endotoxin, to neurodegeneration. Furthermore, we summarize the recent experimental therapeutic strategies targeting endotoxin-induced neuroinflammation to elicit neuroprotection in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system. The potential of the endotoxin-based PD model in the development of an early-stage specific diagnostic biomarker is also emphasized.