Parkinson's disease (PD) is a late-onset, progressive and neurodegenerative disorder of unknown etiology. Besides the other therapeutic approaches, new drug options in pharmacotherapy of PD are important. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of pioglitazone and retinoic acid, antioxidant and neuroprotective agents, on rotenone-induced model of PD in rats. Adult male Wistar rats (260-373 g) were subjects. Rotenone (2.5 mg/kg, sc) was injected to rats for 70 days. At the end of rotenone administration, rats were treated with pioglitazone (10 mg/kg, ip) and retinoic acid (1 mg/kg, ip) or vehicles for 15 days. Then, rats were tested for evaluation of Parkinson signs by measurement of locomotor activity. In addition, dopamine levels were detected in striatum, hippocampus and hypothalamus in individual groups of control, rotenone and pioglitazone or retinoic acid-treated rats. Rotenone significantly reduced locomotor activity of the rats. It also significantly reduced dopamine levels in striatum and hippocampus, but not hypothalamus. Pioglitazone and retinoic acid reversed in reduction of locomotor activity significantly. Pioglitazone, but not retinoic acid, significantly reversed the reduced striatal dopamine level. Both drugs were ineffective on reduced levels of dopamine in hippocampus. Our results suggest that pioglitazone and retinoic acid have some beneficial effects on rotenone-induced model of PD in rats. Pioglitazone seems to be more effective than retinoic acid. These agents may be helpful for preventing or controlling of some signs of PD. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.