The Bernstein Center Freiburg

Informal Seminar
Florence Keller

Modulation of spinal inhibition as a central mechanisms in pain models
Thursday, November 12, 2009
13:00 h sharp
Library, first floor
BCCN Building
Hansastr. 9a
Spinal inhibition is of particular importance in the pain pathways. Indeed, artificial disinhibition induced anomalies in the coding of innocuous and noxious peripheral stimulation. However, the exact role of spinal inhibition as well as the underlying mechanisms were remaining unclear.

Throughout my different projects, I studied the modulation of spinal inhibition, in particular in the superficial dorsal horn layers, laminae I-II, which constitute the first relay of peripheral afferent fibres and which receive mostly the nociceptive one. Using an in vitro electrophysiological approach I showed that spinal inhibition was modulated throughout postnatal development and in pathological situation. These changes were correlated to the regulation of local production of neurosteroids. By performing in vivo electrophysiological recording, I also demonstrated that a disinhibition of Lamina I projection neurones was observed following peripheral injury and was sufficient to alter the specificity of this nociceptive pathway, and resulted from interaction between activated glial cells and neurones.

Recently, a new non invasive live imaging technique allows us to put in parallel cellular events and behavioural responses. This should help us to better understand the underestimated role of glial cells in pain.
The talk is open to the public. Guests are cordially invited!