The French National Centre for Scientific Research

Plasticity of pain controls

Team leader : Pierrick POISBEAU

The team is working on the plasticity of several neurochemical systems with proven analgesic action in painful pathological conditions. The analgesic mechanisms of action of oxytocin are currently being investigated in the microcircuits of the amygdala and hypothalamus. Morphine is the gold standard analgesic in human clinical practice, but its effectiveness in the long-term is impaired by adverse effects that need to be better understood. This work is carried out by analyzing the endogenous metabolism of morphine in painful states and during associated treatments (e.g. chemotherapy). The recruitment and effectiveness of these two analgesic systems are also studied during early development. We study the impact of perinatal disorders with preclinical models but also in premature newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Hautepierre-Strasbourg hospital.

Team projects


Permanent Staff

Hervé Cadiou Hervé Cadiou

(Associate professor)

Alexandre Charlet Alexandre Charlet


Virginie Chavant Virginie Chavant

Pascal Darbon Pascal Darbon

(Assistante Professor)

Yannick Goumon Yannick Goumon


Pierre Kuhn Pierre Kuhn


Vincent Lelievre Vincent Lelievre


Pierrick Poisbeau Pierrick Poisbeau


Ph.D. students / Postdoctoral fellows

Géraldine Gazzo

(Ph.D. student)

Marlène Salgado-Ferrer

(Ph.D. student)

Damien Kerspern

(Ph.D. student)

Florian Gabel

(Ph.D. student)

Louis Hilfiger

(Ph.D. student)

Claire Terzulli

(Ph.D. student)

Angel Baudon

(Ph.D. student)

Clémence Gieré

(Ph.D. student)

Other Non-Permanent Staff

Christine Berlemont

(Nurse, Hypnopract.)

Yannick Menger


Véronique Vincent


Claire Zores

(MD Neonatalogist, PhD)

Audrey Marchal

(MD, Neonatalogist)

Jennifer Rondel


Antoine Martenot


Anne Louise Sawaya


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