Basal ganglia lesions after MPTP administration in rhesus monkeys

M. E. Emborg, J. Moirano, K. T. Schafernak, M. Moirano, M. Evans, T. Konecny, B. Roitberg, P. Ambarish, E. Mangubat, Y. Ma, D. Eidelberg, J. Holden, J. H. Kordower, J. E. Leestma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In monkeys, intracarotid infusion of a single low dose of MPTP reliably induces a hemiparkinsonian syndrome that is stable over time. This model has been widely used to assess novel anti-parkinsonian therapies. Here, we report the exceptional finding of severe necrotic lesions that were observed in the basal ganglia (but not in the substantia nigra) of monkeys that received a single intracarotid injection of MPTP followed by gene therapy treatments. Although extensive unilateral dopaminergic nigrostriatal loss was found in all the animals, partial behavioral recovery was observed in the subjects that presented pallidal necrotic lesions. This report discusses possible causes and effects of the necrotic lesions and their locations and the value of the intracarotid MPTP model. Testing novel therapies in monkey models has become an essential step before clinical trials. These results indicate that evaluation of any treatment should consider possible confounding factors that may affect the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Gene therapy
  • Globus pallidus
  • MPTP
  • Necrosis
  • Nonhuman primates
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Striatum
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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