The French National Centre for Scientific Research

Nociceptive Signaling in the Spinal Cord

Team leader : Rémy Schlichter and Dominique Massotte

The dorsal horn of the spinal cord is involved in the integration of nociceptive messages from peripheral primary afferent nociceptors. When transferred to supraspinal centers this information can lead to the perception of pain. We aim at understanding how nociceptive information is processed and modulated by neuronal and glial networks of the dorsal horn, and how plastic changes underlie the development of chronic pain states.

To reach this goal, we are studying native neuronal networks (spinal cord slices) or reconstituted networks (cultures of neurons and glial cells from the dorsal horn or from the dorsal root ganglia), as well as the interactions between neurons and glia, using electrophysiological methods and fluorescent probes imaging.

Team projects


Researchers / Professors / Assistant Professors

Jean-Louis Bossu

Perrine Inquimbert
(MC Unistra)

Sylvain Hugel

Dominique Massotte

Rémy Schlichter
(PR Unistra)

Yannick Goumon
PhD students

Karim Berkati

Marion Gaborit

Volodya Hovhannisyan

Robin Kuster

Lucien Ruelle-Le Glaunec

Louise Vial

Patrick Wolf
Engineers / Technicians

Virginie Andry

Chantal Fitterer

Catherine Moreau
(AI Unistra)

Benjamin Léonardon
(PhD student)

Lou Cathenaut
(PhD student)

Varen Eersapah
(PhD student)

Florian Gabel
(PhD student)

Selected publications

Eersapah V, Hugel S, Schlichter R. High-resolution detection of ATP release from single cultured mouse dorsal horn spinal cord glial cells and its modulation by noradrenaline. Purinergic Signal. 2019 Sep;15(3):403-420.

Roux S, Lohof A, Ben-Ari Y, Poulain B, Bossu JL. Maturation of GABAergic Transmission in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells Is Sex Dependent and Altered in the Valproate Model of Autism. Front Cell Neurosci.2018 Jul 30;12:232.

Inquimbert P, Moll M, Latremoliere A, Tong CK, Whang J, Sheehan GF, Smith BM, Korb E, Athié MCP, Babaniyi O, Ghasemlou N, Yanagawa Y, Allis CD, Hof PR, Scholz J. NMDA Receptor Activation Underlies the Loss of Spinal Dorsal Horn Neurons and the Transition to Persistent Pain after Peripheral Nerve Injury. Cell Rep. 2018 May 29;23(9):2678-2689.

Weinsanto I, Laux-Biehlmann A, Mouheiche J, Maduna T, Delalande F, Chavant V, Gabel F, Darbon P, Charlet A, Poisbeau P, Lamshöft M, Van Dorsselaer A, Cianferani S, Parat MO, Goumon Y. Stable isotope-labelled morphine to study in vivo central and peripheral morphine glucuronidation and brain transport in tolerant mice British Journal of Pharmacology. 2018 Jul 11;175:3844-3856.

Cordero-Erausquin M, Inquimbert P, Schlichter R, Hugel S. Neuronal networks and nociceptive processing in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Neuroscience. 2016 Dec 3;338:230-247.


The French National Centre for Scientific Research