Aquatic Freshwater Vertebrate Models of Epilepsy Pathology: Past Discoveries and Future Directions for Therapeutic Discovery

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Aug 3;23(15):8608. doi: 10.3390/ijms23158608.


Epilepsy is an international public health concern that greatly affects patients' health and lifestyle. About 30% of patients do not respond to available therapies, making new research models important for further drug discovery. Aquatic vertebrates present a promising avenue for improved seizure drug screening and discovery. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) and African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis and tropicalis) are increasing in popularity for seizure research due to their cost-effective housing and rearing, similar genome to humans, ease of genetic manipulation, and simplicity of drug dosing. These organisms have demonstrated utility in a variety of seizure-induction models including chemical and genetic methods. Past studies with these methods have produced promising data and generated questions for further applications of these models to promote discovery of drug-resistant seizure pathology and lead to effective treatments for these patients.

Keywords: Xenopus laevis; drug development; drug screening; seizures; zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Epilepsy* / therapy
  • Fresh Water
  • Humans
  • Seizures
  • Xenopus laevis / genetics
  • Zebrafish* / genetics