We previously observed marked down-regulation of the mRNA for angiogenin, a potent inducer of neovascularization, in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD) based on over-expression of alpha-synuclein. Angiogenin has also been recently implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this study, we confirmed that mouse angiogenin-1 protein is dramatically reduced in this transgenic alpha-synuclein mouse model of PD, and examined the effect of angiogenin in cellular models of PD. We found that endogenous angiogenin is present in two dopamine-producing neuroblastoma cell lines, SH-SY5Y and M17, and that exogenous angiogenin is taken up by these cells and leads to phosphorylation of Akt. Applied angiogenin protects against the cell death induced by the neurotoxins 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium and rotenone and reduces the activation of caspase 3. Together our data supports the importance of angiogenin in protecting against dopaminergic neuronal cell death and suggests its potential as a therapy for PD. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2010 International Society for Neurochemistry.