The impact of treatment with the noradrenaline (NA) re-uptake inhibitor atomoxetine and the alpha-adrenoceptor (AR) antagonist idazoxan in an animal model of Parkinson's disease (PD) was assessed. Concurrent systemic treatment with atomoxetine and idazoxan, a combination which serves to enhance the extra-synaptic availability of NA, exerts anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects following delivery of an inflammatory stimulus, the bacterial endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the substantia nigra. Lesion-induced deficits in motor function (akinesia, forelimb-use asymmetry) and striatal dopamine (DA) loss were rescued to varying degrees depending on the treatment. Treatment with atomoxetine following LPS-induced lesion to the substantia nigra, yielded a robust anti-inflammatory effect, suppressing microglial activation and expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha whilst increasing the expression of neurotrophic factors. Furthermore atomoxetine treatment prevented loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive nigral dopaminergic neurons and resulted in functional improvements in motor behaviours. Atomoxetine alone was sufficient to achieve most of the observed effects. In combination with idazoxan, an additional improvement in the impairment of contralateral limb use 7 days post lesion and a reduction in amphetamine-mediated rotational asymmetry 14 days post lesion was observed, compared to atomoxetine or idazoxan treatments alone. The results indicate that increases in central NA tone has the propensity to regulate the neuroinflammatory phenotype in vivo and may act as an endogenous neuroprotective mechanism where inflammation contributes to the progression of DA loss. In accordance with this, the clinical use of agents such as NA re-uptake inhibitors and alpha(2)-AR antagonists may prove useful in enhancing the endogenous neuroimmunomodulatory potential of NA in conditions associated with brain inflammation. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.