Accumulating evidence indicates that neuroinflammation contributes significantly to progressive dopaminergic (DA) neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). Altered matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) expression has been reported in several neuroinflammatory paradigms; however, its relationship to inflammation-induced DA neurotoxicity has not been explored. To this end, we investigated the temporal expression pattern of MMP-3 and one of its downstream targets, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), following lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced DA neurodegeneration. LPS was directly injected into the substantia nigra of male Sprague–Dawley rats. Lesion formation was confirmed with immunohistochemistry 48 h post-injection. MMP-3 and CTGF were measured by western blot 12, 24, and 48 h post-injection. In association with neurodegeneration, MMP-3 expression and activation was significantly increased 24 and 48 h after LPS injection. In addition, CTGF expression increased 5-fold at the 24 h time point. The temporal changes in MMP-3 and CTGF expression corresponded to the neurodegenerative phase of this model, suggesting that these two proteins may participate in neuroinflammation-induced DA neurotoxicity.