BACKGROUND: Many animal experimental studies have been performed to investigate the efficacy of acupuncture in Parkinson's disease (PD). Sex differences are a major issue in all diseases including PD. However, to our knowledge, there have been no reviews investigating sex differences on the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for animal PD models. The current study aimed to summarize and analyze past studies in order to evaluate these possible differences. METHOD: Each of 7 databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, 3 Korean medical databases, and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure) was searched from its inception through March 2015 without language restrictions. RESULTS: We included studies of the use of acupuncture treatment in animal models of PD. A total of 810 potentially relevant articles were identified, 57 of which met our inclusion criteria. C57/BL6 mice were used most frequently (42 %) in animal PD models. Most of the studies were carried out using only male animals (67 %); only 1 study (2 %) was performed using solely females. The further 31 % of the studies used a male/female mix or did not specify the sex. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our review suggest that acupuncture is an effective treatment for animal PD models, but there is insufficient evidence to determine whether sex differences exist. Future studies of acupuncture treatment for PD should use female animal models because they reflect the physiological characteristics of both males and females to fully evaluate the effect and the safety of the treatment for each sex.