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Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
21 rue Descartes

67084 - Strasbourg

+33 3 68 85 14 50

Job opportunities

Dr Michel Barrot
Basic mechanisms of pain and its treatment
The European Neuroscience Institute at Strasbourg

Research Area

Our group has 2 independent research axes:

Morphofunctional, behavioral and molecular approaches to study the plasticity associated with chronic pain, its emotional consequences, and its treatments.

Neuroanatomy and physiology of the dopaminergic systems.


Choucair-Jaafar N*, Yalcin I*, Rodeau JL, Waltisperger E, Freund-Mercier MJ, Barrot M (2009) β2-adrenoceptor agonists alleviate neuropathic allodynia in mice after chronic treatment. Brit J Pharmacol in press.

Barrot M, Yalcin I, Choucair-Jaafar N, Benbouzid M, Freund-Mercier MJ (2009) From antidepressant drugs to β-mimetics: preclinical insights on potential new treatments for neuropathic pain. Recent Pat CNS Drug Discov in press.

Kaufling J, Veinante P, Pawlowski S, Freund-Mercier MJ, Barrot M (2009) GABA cells with cocaine-induced ΔFosB in the ventral tegmental area innervate mesolimbic neurons. Biol Psychiatry in press.

Yalcin I*, Charlet A*, Freund-Mercier MJ, Barrot M, Poisbeau P (2009) Differentiating thermal allodynia and hyperalgesia using dynamic hot and cold plate in rodents. J Pain 10:767-73.

Yalcin I, Tessier LH, Petit-Demoulière N, Doridot S, Hein L, Freund-Mercier MJ, Barrot M (2009) β2-adrenoceptors are essential for desipramine, venlafaxine or reboxetine action in neuropathic pain. Neurobiol Dis 33:386-94.

Yalcin I*, Choucair-Jaafar N*, Benbouzid M, Tessier LH, Muller A, Hein L, Freund-Mercier MJ, Barrot M (2009) β2-adrenoceptors are critical for antidepressant treatment of neuropathic pain. Ann Neurol 65:218-25.

Wallace D*, Huan MH*, Graham D, Green T, Vialou V, Iñiguez S, Cao JL, Chakravarty S, Kumar A, Krishnan V, Neve R, Cooper D, Bolaños C, Barrot M, McClung C, Nestler E (2009) CREB regulation of nucleus accumbens excitability mediates social isolation-induced behavioral deficits. Nature Neurosci 12:200-9.

Kaufling J, Veinante P, Pawlowski S, Freund-Mercier MJ, Barrot M (2009) Afferents to the GABAergic tail of the ventral tegmental area in the rat. J Comp Neurol 513:597-621.

Wallace D, Vialou V, Rios L, Carle-Florence T, Chakravarty S, Kumar A, Graham D, Green T, Kirk A, Iñiguez S, Perrotti L, Barrot M, DiLeone R, Nestler E, Bolaños-Guzman C (2008) The influence of ΔFosB in the nucleus accumbens on natural reward-related behavior. J Neurosci 28:10272-7.

Benbouzid M, Choucair-Jaafar N, Yalcin I, Waltisperger E, Muller A, Freund-Mercier MJ, Barrot M (2008) Chronic, but not acute, tricyclic antidepressant treatment alleviates neuropathic allodynia after sciatic nerve cuffing in mice. Eur J Pain 12:1008-17.

Benbouzid M, Gavériaux-Ruff C, Yalcin I, Waltisperger E, Tessier LH, Muller A, Kieffer B, Freund-Mercier MJ, Barrot M (2008) δ-opioid receptors are critical for tricyclic antidepressant treatment of neuropathic allodynia. Biol Psychiatry 63:633-6.

Adachi M*, Barrot M*, Autry A, Theobald D, Monteggia L (2008) Selective loss of BDNF in the dentate gyrus attenuates antidepressant efficacy. Biol Psychiatry 63:642-9.

Benbouzid M, Pallage V, Rajalu M, Waltisperger E, Doridot S, Poisbeau P, Freund-Mercier MJ, Barrot M (2008) Sciatic nerve cuffing in mice: a model of sustained neuropathic pain. Eur J Pain 12:591-9.

Berton O, Covington H 3rd, Ebner K, Tsankova N, Carle T, Ulery P, Bhonsle A, Barrot M, Krishnan V, Singewald G, Singewald N, Birnbaum S, Neve R, Nestler E (2007) Induction of ΔFosB in the periaqueductal gray by stress promotes active coping responses. Neuron 55:289-300.

Monteggia L, Luikart B, Barrot M, Theobold D, Malkovska I, Nef S, Parada L, Nestler E (2007) BDNF conditional knockouts show gender differences in depression-related behaviors. Biol Psychiatry 61:187-97.

Luis-Delgado O, Barrot M, Rodeau JL, Schott G, Benbouzid M, Poisbeau P, Freund-Mercier MJ, Lasbennes F (2006) Calibrated forceps: a sensitive and reliable tool for pain and analgesia studies. J Pain 7:32-9.

Luis-Delgado O*, Barrot M*, Rodeau JL, Ulery P, Freund-Mercier MJ, Lasbennes F (2006) The transcription factor ΔFosB is recruited by inflammatory pain. J Neurochem 98:1423-31.

Olson V, Zabetian C, Bolaños C, Edwards S, Barrot M, Eisch A, Hughes T, Self D, Neve R, Nestler E (2005) Regulation of drug reward by CREB: evidence for two functionnaly distinct subregions of the ventral tegmental area. J Neurosci 25:5553-62.

Perrotti L, Bolaños C, Choi KH, Russo S, Edwards S, Ulery P, Wallace D, Self DW, Nestler E, Barrot M (2005) ΔFosB accumulates in a GABAergic cell population in the posterior tail of the ventral tegmental area after psychostimulant treatment. Eur J Neurosci 21:2817-24.

Poisbeau P, Patte-Mensah C, Keller AF, Barrot M, Breton JD, Luis Delgado O, Freund-Mercier MJ, Mensah-Nyagan AG, Schlichter R (2005) Inflammatory pain upregulates spinal inhibition via endogenous neurosteroid production. J Neurosci 25:11768-11776.

Lucas G, Compan V, Charnay Y, Neve RL, Nestler E, Bockaert J, Barrot M, Debonnel G (2005) Frontocortical 5-HT4 receptors exert positive feedback on serotonergic activity: viral transfections, subacute and chronic treatments with 5-HT4 agonists. Biol Psychiatry 57:918-25.

Barrot M*, Wallace D*, Bolaños C, Graham D, Perrotti L, Neve R, Chambliss H, Yin J, Nestler E (2005) Regulation of anxiety and initiation of sexual behavior by CREB in the nucleus accumbens. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:8357-62.

Georgescu D, Sears R, Hommel J, Barrot M, Bolaños C, Marsh D, Bednarek MA, Bibb J, Maratos-Flier E, Nestler E, DiLeone R (2005) The hypothalamic neuropeptide Melatonin-Concentrating Hormone acts in the nucleus accumbens to modulate feeding behaviour and forced-swim performance. J Neurosci 25:2933-40.

Powell C, Schoch S, Monteggia L, Barrot M, Matos MF, Südhof T, Nestler E (2004) The presynaptic active zone protein RIM1alpha is critical for normal associative learning and locomotor behaviour. Neuron 42:143-53.

Monteggia L, Barrot M, Powell C, Berton O, Galanis V, Gemelli T, Smeuth S, Nagy A, Greene R, Nestler E (2004) Essential role of BDNF in adult hippocampal function. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:10827-32.

Perrotti L, Hadeishi Y, Ulery P, Barrot M, Monteggia L, Duman R, Nestler E (2004) Induction of ΔFosB in reward-related brain structures after chronic stress. J Neurosci 24:10594-602.

Georgescu D, Zachariou V, Barrot M, Mieda M, Willie J, Eisch A, Yanagisawa M, Nestler E, DiLeone R (2003) Involvement of the lateral hypothalamic peptide orexin in morphine dependence and withdrawal. J Neurosci 23:3106-11.

Peakman MC, Colby C, Perrotti L, Tekumalla P, Carle T, Ulery P, Chao J, Duman C, Steffen C, Monteggia L, Allen M, Stock J, Duman R, McNeish J, Barrot M, Self D, Nestler E, Schaeffer E (2003) Inducible, brain region-specific expression of a dominant negative mutant of c-Jun in transgenic mice decreases sensitivity to cocaine. Brain Res 970:73-86.

Haberstock-Debic H, Wein M, Barrot M, Colago E, Rahman Z, Neve R, Pickel V, Nestler E, von Zastrow M, Svingos A (2003) Morphine acutely regulates opioid receptor trafficking selectively in dendrites of nucleus accumbens neurons. J Neurosci 23:4324-32.

Rahman Z, Schwartz J, Gold S, Zachariou V, Wein M, Choi KH, Kovoor A, Chen C, DiLeone R, Schwartz S, Selley D, Sim-Selley L, Barrot M, Luedtke R, Self D, Neve R, Lester HA, Simon M, Nestler E (2003) RGS9 modulates dopamine signaling in the basal ganglia. Neuron 38:941-52.

Bolaños C, Perrotti L, Edwards S, Eisch A, Barrot M, Olson V, Russell D, Neve R, Nestler E (2003) Phospholipase Cγ in distinct regions of the ventral tegmental area differentially modulates mood-related behaviors. J Neurosci 23:7569-76.

Eisch A, Bolaños C, de Wit J, Simonak R, Pudiak C, Barrot M, Verhaagen J, Nestler E (2003) BDNF in the ventral midbrain-nucleus accumbens pathway: a role in depression. Biol Psychiatry 54:994-1005.

Bolaños C, Barrot M, Berton O, Wallace-Black D, Nestler E (2003) Methylphenidate treatment during pre- and periadolescence alters behavioral responses to emotional stimuli in adulthood. Biol Psychiatry 54:1317-29.

Shaw-Lutchman T, Barrot M, Wallace T, Gilden L, Zachariou V, Impey S, Duman R, Storm D, Nestler E (2002) Regional and cellular mapping of CRE-mediated transcription during naltrexone-precipitated morphine withdrawal. J Neurosci 22 :3663-72.

Nestler EJ, Barrot M, DiLeone R, Eisch A, Gold S, Monteggia L (2002) Neurobiology of depression. Neuron 34:13-25.

Barrot M, Olivier J, Perrotti L, DiLeone R, Berton O, Eisch A, Impey S, Storm D, Neve R, Yin J, Zachariou V, Nestler E (2002) CREB activity in the nucleus accumbens shell controls gating of behavioral response to emotional stimuli. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:11435-40.

Nestler EJ, Barrot M, Self D (2001) ΔFosB : a sustained molecular switch for addiction. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:11042-46

Barrot M, Abrous DN, Marinelli M, Rougé-Pont F, Le Moal M, Piazza PV (2001) Influence of glucocorticoids on dopaminergic transmission in the rat dorsolateral striatum. Eur J Neurosci 13:812-8.

Barrot M, Marinelli M, Abrous DN, Rougé-Pont F, Le Moal M, Piazza PV (2000) The dopaminergic hyper-responsiveness of the shell of the nucleus accumbens is hormone-dependent. Eur J Neurosci 12:973-9.

Barrot M, Rettori MC, Guardiola-Lemaître B, Jarry C, Le Moal M, Piazza PV (2000) Interactions between imidazoline binding sites and dopamine levels in the rat nucleus accumbens. Eur J Neurosci 12:4547-51.

Barrot M, Calza L, Pozza M, Le Moal M, Piazza PV (2000) Differential calbindin-immunoreactivity in dopamine neurones projecting to the rat striatal complex. Eur J Neurosci 12:4578-82.

Eisch A, Barrot M, Schad C, Self D, Nestler E (2000) Opiates inhibit neurogenesis in the adult rat hippocampus. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97:7579-84.

Barrot M, Marinelli M, Abrous D, Rougé-Pont F, Le Moal M, Piazza PV (1999) Functional heterogeneity in dopamine release & in the expression of Fos-like proteins within the rat striatal complex. Eur J Neurosci 11:1155-66.

Barrot M, Vallée M, Gingras M, Le Moal M, Mayo W, Piazza PV (1999) The neurosteroid pregnenolone sulfate increases dopamine release and the dopaminergic response to morphine in the rat nucleus accumbens. Eur J Neurosci 11:3757-60.

Marinelli M, Aouizerate B, Barrot M, Le Moal M, Piazza PV (1998) Dopamine-dependent responses to morphine depend on glucocorticoid receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95:7742-47.

Marinelli M, Barrot M, Simon H, Oberlander C, Dekeyne A, Le Moal M, Piazza PV (1998) Pharmacological stimuli decreasing nucleus accumbens dopamine can act as positive reinforcers but have a low addictive potential. Eur J Neurosci 10:3269-75.

Marinelli M, Rougé-Pont F, Deroche V, Barrot M, De Jésus-Oliveira C, Le Moal M, Piazza PV (1997) Glucocorticoids & behavioral effects of psychostimulants. I: Locomotor response to cocaine depends on basal levels of glucocorticoids. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 281:1392-1400.

Piazza PV, Barrot M, Rougé-Pont F, Marinelli M, Maccari S, Abrous DN, Simon H, Le Moal M (1996) Suppression of glucocorticoid secretion and antipsychotic drugs have similar effects on the mesolimbic dopaminergic transmission. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 93:15445-50.

Technical Expertise

Behavioral approaches in mice and rats in the fields of: pain, mood disorders, drug abuse.

Neuroanatomy approaches in rodents (tract-tracing...).

Morphological approaches.

Mice in our facilities: KO: MOR, DOR, KOR, beta2-AR, beta2-nAchR; Floxed mice: BDNF; Reporter mice: CRE-LacZ.