Long-Term Systemic Exposure to Rotenone Induces Central and Peripheral Pathology of Parkinson’s Disease in Mice

Shinki Murakami, Ikuko Miyazaki, Ko Miyoshi, Masato Asanuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with motor and non-motor symptoms that precede the onset of motor symptoms. Rotenone is often used to induce PD-like pathology in the central nervous system (CNS) and enteric nervous system (ENS). However, there is little or no information on the temporal changes in other neural tissues and the spread of pathology throughout the entire body organs. Here, we recorded the serial immunohistochemical changes in neurons and glial cells of the striatum, substantia nigra (SN), olfactory bulb (OB), thoracic cord (ThC) and ascending colon (AC) induced by 1-, 3- and 6-week administration of rotenone (50 mg/kg/day) infused subcutaneously in C57BL mice using an osmotic pump. Rotenone exposure for 3 or 6 weeks caused neurodegeneration in the striatum, whereas neuronal damage was seen in the SN and OB only after 6 weeks. Moreover, rotenone induced neurodegeneration in the myenteric plexus of AC but not in ThC. Rotenone also activated glial cells before any apparent neurodegeneration in the CNS but not in the ENS. Our results demonstrated that subcutaneous administration of rotenone can cause progressive neurodegeneration in the OB and AC, in addition to the nigrostriatal pathway, and temporal differential glial activation, and that these changes do not spread retrogradely from OB or ENS to nigrostriatal pathway. The results suggested that the different vulnerability of neurons to the neurotoxic effects of rotenone administrated subcutaneously are due to glial activation in these neural tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1165-1178
Number of pages14
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2015


  • Central nervous system
  • Glial cells
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Rotenone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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