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

  • Functional exploration of pain in newborns and adults
    Pierrick Poisbeau, Pierre Kuhn
  • Ontogeny of the nociceptive system
    Pierre Kuhn, Pierrick Poisbeau
  • Long-term consequences of early life stress
    Vincent Lelievre, Pierre Kuhn, Pierrick Poisbeau

  • Members

    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)
    Claire Terzulli
    (Ph.D. student)
    Méggane Melchior Guillaume Rého
    (Ph.D. student)
    Claire Terzulli Yasmine Brik
    (Ph.D. student)
    Claire Terzulli Sarah Lejczak, M.D.
    (Ph.D. student)
    Claire Terzulli Simon Baire, Clinical Psychologist
    (Ph.D. student)

    Other Non-Permanent Staff

    Christine Berlemont Andréa Aldana Acosta
    (Clinical Psychologist)
    Audrey Marchal Audrey Marchal
    Antoine Martenot Antoine Martenot
    Yannick Menger Yannick Menger
    Jennifer Rondel Jennifer Rondel
    Anne-Louise Sawaya Anne-Louise Sawaya
    Véronique Vincent Elodie Rabatel
    (Research nurse)
    Claire Zores Claire Zores

    Selected publications

    Melchior M, Kuhn P, Poisbeau P (2021) The burden of early life stress on the nociceptive system development and pain responses. Eur J Neurosci OI: 10.1111/ejn.15153

    Gazzo G, Melchior M, Caussaint A, Giere C, Lelievre V, Poisbeau P (2021) Overexpression of chloride importer NKCC1 contributes to the sensory-affective and sociability phenotype of rats following neonatal maternal separation.Brain Behavior & Immunity 92:193-202.

    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.

    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.

    Juif PE, Salio C, Zell V, Melchior M, Lacaud A, Petit-Demouliere N, Ferrini F, Darbon P, Hanesch U, Anton F, Merighi A, Lelievre V, Poisbeau P (2016) Peripheral and central alterations affecting spinal nociceptive processing and pain at adulthood in rats exposed to neonatal maternal deprivation. Eur J Neurosci, 44:1952-1962.


The French National Centre for Scientific Research