Sophie PEZET

Associate Professor of physiology, ESPCI

Brain Plasticity Laboratory
10 rue Vauquelin
75231 Paris cedex 5 France
Phone: + 33 (0) 1 40 79 51 70
Mail: sophie.pezet (arobase)

Research interests

Over the last 15 years, I have been involved in several aspects of the pain research field: i) the development and validation of new clinically-relevant animal models of persistent pain, ii) the discovery of molecular mechanisms underlying some of this plasticity and iii) the development and validation of a new technique of neuroimaging to better study this plasticity.

Recently, I had the unique opportunity to be at the centre of new technological achievement. While collaborating actively with the team of Mickael Tanter, who developed the technique of ultrafast ultrasound Doppler (Mace et al., 2013), we used this highly resolved technique to image functional connectivity in the adult rodent brain (Osmanski et al., 2014). Recently, using bio-compatible micro-bubbles as a contrast agent, we performed functional imaging through the intact skull (Errico et al., 2016) and further improved the technique by imaging with super-resolution (Errico et al., 2015) in the live rat brain. Finally, it is possible to perform fUS imaging in awake and freely moving animals. This is now possible (Tiran et al., 2017) in mice.

Our team is currently using molecular, behavioural and imaging approaches to improve our understanding of altetred brain function in chronic pain disorders.


2014 Prize from the ‘Fondation Unité-Guerra-Beaudoin-Lambrecht-Maiano’ de l’Institut de France for her work in the field of Pain research


INSERM U979, Institut Langevin, Paris
Mickael Tanter

Institut Alesia, Paris
Zsolt Lenkei

I. Yalcin

Institut de génomique fonctionnelle, Montpellier
C. Goudet

INSERM U766, Clermont Ferrand, France
F. Marchand et A. Eschalier

Institut de la vision
A. Reaux-Le-Goazigo

King’s College London, London Pain consortium
SB. McMahon

King’s College London, UK
M. Malcangio

University of Kentucky, USA
G. Smith

Current students
    • Line Rahal : PhD (2015-2018), co-direction with Mickael Tanter
    • Julien Claron : Master 2 BIP (Université Paris VI, Pierre et Marie Curie)
Previous students
    • Christelle Durant : PhD (2012-2015, co-direction with Alexandra Semont IRSN)
    • Augustin Arnion : Master 2 BIP (2014-2015)
    • Clémence Foray : DUT génie génétique (2014-2015)
    • Morgan Palud : DUT génie génétique (2013-2014)
    • Ines Arib : Master 1 BIP (2014)
    • Kejian Wang : Etudiant ESPCI 3eme année (2014)
    • Sarah Moitrier : Etudiant ESPCI 3eme année (2013)
    • Tiran E, Ferrier J, Deffieux T, Gennisson JL, Pezet S, Lenkei Z, Mickaël Tanter: 2017 Transcranial functional ultrasound imaging in freely-moving awake mice and anesthetized young rats without contrast agent through the intact skull. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. (In press)
    • Gautier A, Ouaraki HE, Bazin N, Salam S, Vodjdani G, Bourgoin S, Pezet S, Bernard JF, Hamon M: 2016 Lentiviral vector-driven inhibition of 5-HT synthesis in B3 bulbo-spinal serotonergic projections Consequences on nociception, inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rats. Exp Neurol. 288 : 11-24.
    • Thibault K, Rivière S, Lenkei Z, Férézou I¶, Pezet S¶. 2016 Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Leads to a Hyporesponsive Barrel Cortex with Enhanced Structural Synaptic Plasticity. PLoS One. Aug 22;11(8):e0160786. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160786. ¶ These authors equally directed this work.
    • Errico C, Osmanski BF, Pezet S, Couture O, Lenkei Z, Tanter M.: 2016 Transcranial Functional Ultrasound Imaging Using Ultrafast Doppler with Microbubbles. Neuroimage 1;124(Pt A):752-61. doi: 10.1016/j.
    • Errico C, Pierre J, Pezet S, Desailly Y, Lenkei Z, Couture O, Tanter M.: 2015 Ultrafast ultrasound localization microscopy for dynamic vascular imaging of the living brain at the capillary scale. Nature. 26;527(7579):499-502. doi: 10.1038/nature16066.
    • D’Mello R, Sand C, Pezet S, Leiper JM, McMahon SB, PhD, Dickenson AH, Manasi Nandi M.: 2015 Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-1 is involved in spinal nociceptive plasticity. Pain Oct;156(10):2052-60.
    • Durand C, Pezet S, Eutamène H, Demarquay C, Mathieu N, Moussa L, Daudin R, Holler V, Sabourin JC, Milliat F, François A, Theodorou V, Tamarat R, Benderitter M, Sémont A.: 2015 Persistent visceral allodynia in rat exposed to colorectal irradiation is reversed by mesenchymal stromal cell treatment. Pain Aug;156(8):1465-76.
    • Thibault K, Lin WK, Rancillac A, Fan M, Snollaerts T, Sordoillet V, Hamon M, Smith GM, Lenkei Z, Pezet S.: 2014 BDNF-dependent plasticity induced by peripheral inflammation in the primary sensory and the cingulate cortex triggers cold allodynia and reveals a major role for endogenous BDNF as a tuner of the affective aspect of pain. J Neurosci. Oct 29;34(44):14739-51.
    • Osmanski BF, Pezet S, Ricobaraza A, Lenkei Z, Tanter M.: 2014 Functional ultrasound imaging of intrinsic connectivity in the living rat brain with high spatiotemporal resolution. Nat Commununications. Oct 3;5:5023.
    • Thibault K, Calvino B, Rivals I, Marchand F, Dubacq S, McMahon SB, Pezet S: 2014 Molecular mechanisms underlying long-lasting analgesic effect of oxycodone versus morphine in chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. Plos One (In press)
    • Thibault K, Rivals I, Saïd M’Dahoma S, Dubacq S, Pezet S, Calvino B: 2013 Structural and Molecular Alterations of Primary Afferent Fibres in the Spinal Dorsal Horn in Vincristine-Induced Neuropathy in Rat. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 51(3):880-92.
    • Thibault K, Carrel D, Bonnard D, Gallatz K, Simon A, Biard M, Pezet S, Palkovits M, Lenkei Z: 2012 Activation-Dependent Subcellular Distribution Patterns of CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors in the Rat Forebrain. Cerebral Cortex 23(11):2581-91.
    • Thibault K, Calvino B, Dubacq S, Roualle-de-Rouville M, Isabelle Rivals I, Pezet S: 2012 Cortical effect of Oxaliplatin associated with sustained neuropathic pain: exacerbation of cortical activity and down-regulation of potassium channel expression in somatosensory cortex. Pain Aug;153(8):1636-47.
    • Marchand F, D’Mello R, Yip PK, Calvo M, Muller E, Pezet S, Dickenson AH, McMahon SB: 2011 Specific involvement of atypical PKCzeta/PKMzeta in spinal persistent nociceptive processing following peripheral inflammation in rat. Molecular Pain, 7:86.
    • D’Mello R, Marchand F, Pezet S, McMahon SB, Dickenson AH: 2011 Perturbing PSD-95 interactions with NR2B-subtype receptors attenuates spinal nociceptive plasticity and neuropathic pain. Molecular Therapy Mol Ther. Oct;19(10):1780-92.
    • Thibault K, Calvino B, Pezet S: 2011, Sensory abnormalities in an animal model of multiple sclerosis in rat: a behavioural and pharmacological study. Eur. J Pain. Mar;15(3):231.
    • Caferty W, Bradbury E, Lidierth M, Jones M, Duffy P, Pezet S, McMahon SB: 2008 Chondroitinase ABC mediates plasticity of spinal sensory function. J Neurosci. 12;28(46):11998.
    • Pezet S, Marchand F, D’Mello R, Grist J, Clark AK, Malcangio M, Dickenson AH, Williams RJ, McMahon SB: 2008 Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase is a key mediator of central sensitization in painful inflammatory conditions. J Neurosci. 28(16):4261-70.
    • Pezet S, McMahon SB: 2006 Neurotrophins: Mediators and modulators of pain? Annual Review of Neuroscience 29:507-538.
    • Zhao J, Seereeram A, Nassar MA, Levato A, Pezet S, Hathaway G, Morenilla-Palao C, Stirling C, Fitzgerald M, McMahon SB, Rios M, Wood JN: 2006, Nociceptor-derived Brain-derived neurotrophic factor regulates acute and inflammatory but not neuropathic pain. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 31(3): 539-548.
    • Pezet S, Krzyzanowska A, Wong L, Grist J, Mazarakis ND, McMahon SB: 2005 Reversal of neurochemical changes and pain-related behaviour in a model of neuropathic pain using modified lenti-viral vectors expressing GDNF. Molecular Therapy 13(6):1101-1109.
    • Slack SE, Grist J, Mac Q, McMahon SB, Pezet S : 2005 TrkB expression in rat spinothalamic tract neurones and phospho-ERK activation by BDNF in those cells. The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 489: 59-68.
    • Pezet S, Spyropoulos A, Williams RJ, McMahon SB: 2005 Activity-dependent phosphorylation of Akt/PKB in adult DRG neurons. European Journal of Neuroscience. 21(7):1785-97.
    • Slack S, Pezet S, McMahon SB, Thompson SWN, Malcangio M: 2004 Brain-derived neurotrophic factor induces NMDA receptor subunit one phosphorylation via ERK and PKC in the rat spinal cord. Eur. J. Neurosci 20(7):1769-78.
    • Pezet S, Malcangio M: 2004, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor as a drug target for CNS disorders. Expert. Opin. Ther. Targets. 8(5):391-9
    • Lever IJ, Grant AD, Pezet S, Gerard NP, Brain SD, Malcangio M: 2003 Basal and activity-induced release of substance P from primary afferent fibres in NK(1) receptor knockout mice: evidence for negative feedback. Neuropharmacology. 45(8):1101-10
    • Lever IJ, Pezet S, McMahon SB, Malcangio M: 2003 The signalling components of sensory fiber transmission involved in the activation of ERK MAP kinase in the mouse dorsal horn. Mol Cell Neurosci. 24(2):259-70
    • Neal M, Cunningham J, Lever I, Pezet S, Malcangio M: 2003, Mechanism by which brain-derived neurotrophic factor increases dopamine release from the rabbit retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 44(2):791-8
    • Pezet S, Malcangio M, McMahon SB : 2002, BDNF: A neuromodulator in nociceptive pathways? Brain Research Reviews. 40(1-3):240-9
    • Pezet S, Malcangio M, Lever IJ, Perkinton MS, Thompson SW, Williams RJ, McMahon SB: 2002, Noxious stimulation induces Trk receptor and downstream ERK phosphorylation in spinal dorsal horn. Mol Cell Neurosci. 21(4):684-95
    • Pezet S, Cunningham J, Patel J, Grist J, Gavazzi I, Lever I, Malcangio M: 2002, BDNF modulates sensory neuron synaptic activity by a facilitation of GABA transmission in the dorsal horn. Mol Cell Neurosci. 21(1):51-62
    • Malcangio M, Getting S, Grist J, Cunningham JR,. Bradbury EJ, Charbel Issa P, Lever I, Pezet S, and Perretti M: 2002, A novel control mechanism based on GDNF modulation of somatostatin release from sensory neurones. FASEB J. 16(7):730-2.
    • Pezet S, Onténiente B, Junier MP, Jullien J, Grannec G, Rudkin B, Calvino B: 2001, Differential regulation of NGF receptors in primary sensory neurons by adjuvant-induced arthritis in the rat. Pain, 90 113-125.
    • Pezet S, Onténiente B, Grannec G, Calvino B: 1999, Chronic pain is associated with increased TrkA-immunoreactivity in spinoreticular neurons. J. Neurosci., 19 5482-5492.
    • Calvet JH, D’ortho MP, Levame M, Pezet S, Harf A, Lafuma C, Macquin-mavier I: 1999, Matrix metalloproteinase activity in Sulfur-mustard induced accute airway injury in Guinea Pigs. J. A. P., 276 754-762.
    • Frette C, Pezet S, Azzi El Nabout R, Bertrand JP, Thieu Pham Q, Kauffmann F, Lafuma C: 1998, Relationship of serum neutral endopeptidase E.C. activity to alcohol consumption. Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. 7, 1405-1408.
    • Delacourt C, D’ortho MP, Macquin-mavier I, Pezet S, Housset B, Lafiuma C, Harf A: 1996, Oxidant-antioxidant balance in alveolar macrophages from newborn rats. Eur. Resp. J., 9, 2517-2524.
    • Delacourt C, D’ortho MP, Macquin-mavier I, Pezet S, Harf A, Lafuma C: 1995, Increased 92-kDa gelatinase from alveolar Macrophages in Newborn Rats. Am. Rev. Resp. crit. Care Med., 151, 1939-1945.
    • D’ortho MP, Jarreau PH, Delacourt C, Pezet S, Lafuma C, Harf A, Macquin-mavier I: 1995, Tachykinins induced gelatinase production by Guinea Pig alveolar Macrophages. Involvement of NK2-Receptors. Am. J. Physiol. (Lung cellular and molecular Physiology), 269, 631-636.
    • D’ortho MP, Jarreau PH, Delacourt C, Macquin-mavier I, Levame M, Pezet S, Harf A, Lafuma C: 1994, Matrix metalloproteinase and elastase activities in lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury in Guinea Pig. Am. J. Physiol., 266, 209-216.


See also...

National and international collaborations

Institut Langevin, Paris M. Tanter INSERM U766, Clermont Ferrand F. Marchand et A. Eschalier Strasbourg I. Yalcin Institut de (...) 

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Sophie PEZET, Lecturer at ESPCI Paris, is head of the Pain and Neural Adaptation team. Researchers and Lecturers Sophie PEZET Physiology (...) 

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Practical information

Unit Director
Thomas Preat
thomas.preat (arobase)

Tu-Khanh Nguyen
tu-khanh.nguyen (arobase)

Phone : +33 (0) 1 40 79 43 02

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