Among the most widely used models of Parkinson's disease (PD) are those that employ toxins, especially 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Depending on the protocol used, MPTP yields large variations in nigral cell loss, striatal dopamine loss and behavioral deficits. Motor deficits do not fully replicate those seen in PD. Nonetheless, MPTP mouse models mimic many aspects of the disease and are therefore important tools for understanding PD. In this review, we will discuss the ability of MPTP mouse models to replicate the pathophysiology of PD, the mechanisms of MPTP-induced neurotoxicity, strain differences in susceptibility to MPTP, and the models' roles in testing therapeutic approaches.