The perplexing paradox of paraquat: The case for host-based susceptibility and postulated neurodegenerative effects

Byron C. Jones, Xuemei Huang, Richard Mailman, Lu Lu, Robert W. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Paraquat is an herbicide used extensively in agriculture and has also been proposed to be a risk factor for Parkinson's disease. To date, experimental, clinical, and epidemiological data on paraquat neurotoxicity have been equivocal. In this short review, we discuss some technical and biological mechanisms that contribute to inconsistencies regarding paraquat neurotoxicity. We hypothesize that individual genetic variations in susceptibility generate major differences in neurotoxic risk and functional outcome. Identifying these heritable sources of variation in host susceptibility, and their role in complex gene-environment interactions, is crucial to identify risk biomarkers and to devise better prevention and treatment for those exposed to paraquat and other potential neurotoxicants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-197
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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