Xenopus: Experimental Access to Cardiovascular Development, Regeneration Discovery, and Cardiovascular Heart-Defect Modeling

Stefan Hoppler*, Frank L Conlon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Xenopus has been used to study a wide array of developmental processes, benefiting from vast quantities of relatively large, externally developing eggs. Xenopus is particularly amenable to examining the cardiac system because many of the developmental processes and genes involved in cardiac specification, differentiation, and growth are conserved between Xenopus and human and have been characterized in detail. Furthermore, compared with other higher vertebrate models, Xenopus embryos can survive longer without a properly functioning heart or circulatory system, enabling investigation of later consequences of early embryological manipulations. This biology is complemented by experimental technology, such as embryonic explants to study the heart, microinjection of overexpression constructs, and, most recently, the generation of genetic mutations through gene-editing technologies. Recent investigations highlight Xenopus as a powerful experimental system for studying injury/repair and regeneration and for congenital heart disease (CHD) modeling, which reinforces why this model system remains ideal for studying heart development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
Early online date25 Nov 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Nov 2019


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