Dorsal root ganglia sensory neuronal cultures: A tool for drug discovery for peripheral neuropathies

Giorgia Melli, Ahmet Höke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Background: Peripheral neuropathies affect many people worldwide and are caused by or associated with a wide range of conditions, both genetic and acquired. Current therapies are directed at symptomatic control because no effective regenerative treatment exists. The primary challenge is that mechanisms that lead to distal axonal degeneration, a common feature of all peripheral neuropathies, are largely unknown. Objective/methods: To address the role and specific characteristics of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) derived sensory neuron culture system as a useful model in evaluating the pathogenic mechanisms of peripheral neuropathies and examination and validation of potential therapeutic compounds. A thorough review of the recent literature was conducted and select examples of the use of DRG neurons in different peripheral neuropathy models were chosen to highlight the utility of these cultures. Conclusion: Many useful models of different peripheral neuropathies have been developed using DRG neuronal culture and potential therapeutic targets have been examined, but so far none of the potential therapeutic compounds have succeeded in clinical trials. In recent years, the focus has changed to evaluation of axon degeneration as the primary outcome measure advocating a drug development strategy starting with phenotypic drug screening, followed by validation in primary complex co-cultures and animal models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1045
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Dorsal root ganglion
  • Neuroprotection
  • Phenotypic screen
  • Sensory neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Dorsal root ganglia sensory neuronal cultures: A tool for drug discovery for peripheral neuropathies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this