This study analyzed gender differences in the progressive dopamine (DA) deficiency phenotype in the MitoPark (MP) mouse model of Parkinson&rsquo / s disease (PD) with progressive loss of DA release and reuptake in midbrain DA pathways. We found that the progressive loss of these DA presynaptic parameters begins significantly earlier in male than female MP mice. This was correlated with behavioral gender differences of both forced and spontaneous motor behavior. The degeneration of the nigrostriatal DA system in MP mice is earlier and more marked than that of the mesolimbic DA system, with male MP mice again being more strongly affected than female MP mice. After ovariectomy, DA presynaptic and behavioral changes in female mice become very similar to those of male animals. Our results suggest that estrogen, either directly or indirectly, is neuroprotective in the midbrain DA system. Our results are compatible with epidemiological data on incidence and symptom progression in PD, showing that men are more strongly affected than women at early ages.