In vivo Spinal Cord & DRG Electrophysiology

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Our in vivo Spinal Cord & DRG Electrophysiology recording platform is hosted at E-Phys, an independent contract research organization (CRO) specialized in preclinical electrophysiology in anaesthetized rodents.
E-Phys was founded in 2012 and operates from its own installation based in the medical and pharmaceutical school in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

E-Phys’ has many years of experience in the drug discovery field and collaborates with experts from the CROs and large pharmaceutical companies.

in vivo Electrophysiological recordings of Spinal Cord in Anaesthetised rodent models


Spinal cord recording can be used to validate new pain therapeutic targets and/or assess drug efficacy in recognized pain models thanks to robust electrophysiological data. It represents an essential technique to evaluate the analgesic potential of drug candidates. Recordings are performed extracellularly in deeply anesthetized rodents under control physiological conditions.

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Webinar – in vivo recordings of spinal and DRG neurons

The release of novel non-opioid analgesic drugs requires innovative R&D strategies. In this line, the measure of the activity of nociceptors in the dorsal root ganglia and neurons involved in the generation of pain sensation in the spinal cord provides a unique way of assessing the analgesic efficacy of drug candidates on pain-specific endpoints. The aim of this presentation is to give a brief overview on the use of these methods in anesthetized mice and rats to assist pain drug discovery.



Pharmacology & Therapeutic areas

Supporting clients working in therapeutic areas such as:

  • Pain

Example target classes we cover

  • Ligand-gated ion channels
  • Voltage-gated ion channels
  • G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs)

Example drug targets we cover

  • TRPV1
  • Nav1.7
  • MOR


Techniques & Models

Lamina III-V dynamic wide range and nociceptive specific neurons

This is a classic in the field of in vivo electrophysiology. Lamina III-V neurons receive dense input from peripheral mechanoreceptors and nociceptors. Their recording can be used to assess the analgesic activity of both peripheral and central target.
Recording of lamina III-V neurons is usually used for acute pharmacological studies.

Lamina I spinoparabrachial (SPB) neurons

Lamina I SPB neurons are identified using antidromic stimulation from the parabrachial area. We have developed a unique expertise in this technique, considered very challenging.
Recording of lamina I SPB neurons, which play an essential role in the affective component of pain, is best to evaluate the effect of chronic pain condition and the corresponding treatment with analgesic drug candidate.


Recordings are performed in controls and in animals with various experimental pathophysiological conditions developed in house (e.g. complete Freund’s adjuvant induced inflammation, oxaliplatin induced polyneuropathy, nerve constriction induced mononeuropathy, etc…).
We also work with models developed by clients or external providers.

Lamina III-V neurons

"Nav1.7 is essential for nociceptor action potentials in the mouse in a manner independent of endogenous opioids"
. 2023 Jun 15;S0896-6273(23)00397-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.05.024.

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Lamina I SPB neurons

"Physiological properties of the lamina I spinoparabrachial neurons in the mouse"

J Physiol
. 2019 Apr;597(7):2097-2113. doi: 10.1113/JP277447.

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Novel non-opioid analgesics necessitate innovative R&D strategies, including assessing the efficacy of drug candidates on pain-specific endpoints. Measuring nociceptor activity in the dorsal root ganglia and pain-sensing neurons in the spinal cord offers a unique approach. This presentation provides a concise overview of using these methods in anesthetized mice and rats for pain drug discovery.

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"Differential sensitization of lamina I and lamina III-V neurons projecting to and/or through the parabrachial area in chronic inflammatory condition in anaesthetized mice."

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In vivo Spinal Cord & DRG Electrophysiology Experts

Julien Allard, PhD
in vivo spinal cord
electrophysiology expert

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