Introduction: Neurological diseases present a difficult challenge in drug discovery. Many of the current treatments have limited efficiency or result in a variety of debilitating side effects. The search of new therapies is of a paramount importance, since the number of patients that require a better treatment is growing rapidly. As an in vitro model, Xenopus oocytes provide the drug developer with many distinct advantages, including size, durability, and efficiency in exogenous protein expression. However, there is an increasing need to refine the recent breakthroughs. Areas covered: This review covers the usage and recent advancements of Xenopus oocytes for drug discovery in neurological diseases from expression and functional measurement techniques to current applications in Alzheimer’s disease, painful neuropathies, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The existing limitations of Xenopus oocytes in drug discovery are also discussed. Expert opinion: With the rise of aging population and neurological disorders, Xenopus oocytes, will continue to play an important role in understanding the mechanism of the disease, identification and validation of novel molecular targets, and drug screening, providing high-quality data despite the technical limitations. With further advances in oocytes-related techniques toward an accurate modeling of the disease, the diagnostics and treatment of neuropathologies will be becoming increasing personalized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • ALS
  • Alzheimer
  • CIPN
  • Xenopus oocytes
  • chronic pain
  • electrophysiology
  • ion channels
  • neurological diseases
  • patch clamping


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