Many current studies of Parkinson's disease (PD) suggest that inflammation is involved in the neurodegenerative process. PD-1, a traditional Korean medicine, used to treat various brain diseases in Korea. This study was designed to investigate the effect of PD-1 extract in the Parkinson's model of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) lesioned mice. The MPTP administration caused the dopamine neuron loss in the striatum and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), which was demonstrated by a depletion of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). In addition, a reduction of bcl-2 expression with elevation of bax expression, caspase-3 activation, and release of cytochrome c into cytosol in dopaminergic neurons of SNpc were noted. Oral administration of PD-1 extract (50 and 100 mg kg(-1)) attenuated the MPTP-induced depletion of TH proteins in the striatum and SNpc and prevented the apoptotic effects. These results indicate that PD-1 extract is able to protect dopaminergic neurons from MPTP-induced neuronal death, with important implications for the treatment of PD.