2013 Volume 62 Issue 2 Pages 87-92
Frogs possess pain receptors and pathways that support processing and perception of noxious stimuli however the level of organization is less well structured compared to mammals. It was long believed that the experience of pain was limited to ‘higher’ phylums of the animal kingdom. However, it is now commonly accepted that amphibians possess neuro-anatomical pathways conductive of a complete nociceptive experience. Xenopus laevis frogs have been one of the most popular aquatic research models for developmental studies and genetic research. These frogs have been extensively use in research for their eggs, that can be collected following hormonal stimulation either naturally or by surgical intervention. Many anaesthetics have been used in amphibians such as bath solutions of MS-222, benzocaine and eugenol as well as systemic injections of ketamine or tiletamine, barbiturates, propofol and gas administrations of methoxyflurane, halothane and isoflurane. Most of these anaesthetic drugs produce variability in depth and duration of anaesthesia. MS-222 appears to be one of the most reliable anaesthetics. This review will focus on the evidence of pain perception in frogs and will compare the effectiveness and limitations of different anaesthetics used in Xenopus leavis frogs.