The French National Centre for Scientific Research

Plasticity of pain controls

Team leader : Pierrick POISBEAU

The team works on the ontogeny of nociception, the plasticity of the circuits that govern pain sensation and its behavioral expression. In particular, we study the impact of perinatal stresses. This research is conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Hautepierre-Strasbourg hospital and in the research laboratory using preclinical models. In line with our past work, we are working on several neurochemical systems, using oxytocin or VIP, which have a proven modulatory action on pain and play a major role during development. In adults suffering from chronic pain, we are analyzing the causal link with a history of early trauma and the non pharmacological interventions that could be used to limit pain. We are thus conducting translational research, in children and adults, which has its origin in clinical issues related to the vulnerability of newborns.

Team projects


Permanent Staff

Hervé Cadiou Hervé Cadiou
(Associate professor)
Pierre Kuhn Pierre Kuhn
Vincent Lelievre Vincent Lelievre
Pierrick Poisbeau Pierrick Poisbeau

Ph.D. students / Postdoctoral fellows

Clémence Gieré
(Ph.D. student)
Meggane Melchior
(Lab Manager)
Claire Terzulli
(Ph.D. student)

Other Non-Permanent Staff

Christine Berlemont
(Nurse, Hypnopract.)
Audrey Marchal
(MD, Neonatalogist)
Antoine Martenot
Yannick Menger
Jennifer Rondel
Anne Louise Sawaya
Véronique Vincent
Claire Zores
(MD Neonatalogist, PhD)

Selected publications

Hasan MT*, Althammer F*, Silva da Gouveia M*, Goyon S*, Eliava M, Lefevre A, Kerspern D, Schimmer J, Raftogianni A, Wahis J, Knobloch-Bollmann HS, Tang Y, Liu X, Jain A, Chavant V, Goumon Y, Weislogel JM, Hurlemann R, Herpertz SC, Pitzer C, Darbon P, Dogbevia GK, Bertocchi I, Larkum ME, Sprengel R, Bading H, Charlet A*, Grinevich V* (2019) A Fear Memory Engram and Its Plasticity in the Hypothalamic Oxytocin System. Neuron 103(1):133-146.Melchior M, Juif PE, Gazzo G, Petit-Demouliere N, Chavant N, Lacaud A, Goumon Y, Charlet A, Lelievre V, Poisbeau P (2018) Pharmacological rescue of nociceptive hypersensitivity and oxytocin analgesia impairment in a rat model of neonatal maternal separation. Pain 159(12):2630-2640.

Weinsanto I, Laux-Biehlmann A, Mouheiche J, Maduna T, Delalande F, Chavant V, Gabel F, Darbon P, Charlet A, Poisbeau P, Lamshoft M, Van Dorsselaer A, Cianferani S, Parat MO, Goumon Y (2018) Stable isotope-labelled morphine to study in vivo central and peripheral morphine glucuronidation and brain transport in tolerant mice. Br J Pharmacol 175(19):3844-3856.

Frie J, Bartocci M, Lagercrantz H, Kuhn P (2018) Cortical Responses to Alien Odors in Newborns: An fNIRS Study. Cereb Cortex 28(9): p. 3229-3240.

Walter-Nicolet E, Calvel L, Gazzo G, Poisbeau P, Kuhn P (2017) Neonatal Pain, Still Searching for the Optimal Approach. Curr Pharm Des 23(38):5861-5878.

Eliava M*, Melchior M*, Knobloch-Bollmann HS*, Wahis J*, da Silva Gouveia M, Tang Y, Ciobanu AC, Triana Del Rio A, Roth L, Althammer F, Chavant V, Goumon Y, Gruber T, Petit-Demouliere N, Busnelli M, Chini B, Tan LL, Mitre M, Froemke RC, Chao MV, Giese G, Sprengel R, Kuner R, Poisbeau P, Seeburg PH, Stoop R, Charlet A*, Grinevich V* (2016) A New Population of Parvocellular Oxytocin Neurons Controlling Magnocellular Neuron Activity and Inflammatory Pain Processing. Neuron, 89(6):1291-1304.


The French National Centre for Scientific Research