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Prof. Dr. Rolf-Detlef Treede

We investigate the coding of actual or potential tissue damaging stimuli (noxious stimuli) in primary nociceptive neurons and the subsequent signal processing in the nociceptive system. We use electrophysiology and live cell imaging in cellular systems, electrophysiology and behavioral testing in rodent models of neuropathic pain and back pain, as well as psychophysics, electrophysiology and functional imaging in healthy subjects and in patients with chronic pain or diseases of the nervous system. The aim of this work is the mechanism-based classification of chronic pain and the validation of biomarkers for the detection of these mechanisms.

The focus of our work is on

  1. Quantification of pain behaviour and psychological comorbidities (anxiety, depression, sleep disorder) in rodent models of chronic back pain and neuropathic pain.

  2. Phenotyping of patients with chronic neuropathic pain, mechanism-based classification of pain patients, modelling of pain mechanisms in human surrogate models.

  3. Interaction of pain and stress in healthy subjects, patients with back pain and patients with spinal cord injuries.
Sensitivity profiles of patients with chronic peripheral neuropathic pain show three phenotype clusters (from Baron et al. 2017). A: training data set, B: validation data set

National and international joint research projects

DFG Collaborative Research Centres (Sonderforschungsbereiche)

  • SFB1158 „Heidelberg Pain Consortium"
    Funding code: 1158/2; Subproject S01
    Project duration: 01.07.2019 – 30.06.2023
    Subproject title: Standardization and new development of pain-related models and methods in rodents and humans

  • Funding code: 1158/2; Subproject B09
    Project duration: 01.07.2019 – 30.06.2023
    Subproject title: Plasticity in brain circuits underlying interactions between pain and depression

DFG Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs)

Other collaborative projects

  • EU (H2020-JTI-IMI2-2016-10-two-stage)
    Funding code: 777500
    Project duration: 01.04.2018 – 2023
    Project title: IMI-PainCare

Selected publications

  1. Classification of chronic pain for the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11): results of the 2017 International WHO Field Testing.
    Barke A, Korwisi B, Jakob R, Konstanjsek N, Rief W, Treede RD. (2021) Pain Apr 8. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002287.
  2. Peripheral Neuropathic Pain: A mechanism-related organizing principle based on sensory profiles.
    Baron R, Maier C, Attal N, Binder A, Bouhassira D, Cruccu G, Finnerup NB, Haanpää M, Hansson P, Hüllemann P, Jensen TS, Freynhagen R, Kennedy JD, Magerl W, Mainka T, Reimer M, Rice AS, Segerdahl M, Serra J, Sindrup S, Sommer C, Tölle T, Vollert J, Treede RD (2017) Pain Feb;158(2):261-272.
  3. Altered pressure pain thresholds and increased wind-up in adult patients with chronic back pain with a history of childhood maltreatment: a quantitative sensory testing study.
    Tesarz J, Eich W, Treede RD, Gerhardt A (2016) Pain 157: 1799-1809.
  4. High-frequency modulation of rat spinal field potentials: effects of slowly conducting muscle vs. skin afferents.
    Zhang J, Hoheisel U, Klein T, Magerl W, Mense S, Treede RD (2016) J Neurophysiol 115, 692-700
  5. Capsaicin-sensitive C- and A-fibre nociceptors control long-term potentiation-like pain amplification in humans.
    Henrich F, Magerl W, Klein T, Greffrath W, Treede RD (2015) Brain 138, 2505-2520.
  6. Injection of nerve growth factor into a low back muscle induces long-lasting latent hypersensitivity in rat dorsal horn neurons.
    Hoheisel U, Reuter R, de Freitas MF, Treede RD, Mense S (2013) Pain 154, 1953-1960
  7. One night of total sleep deprivation promotes a state of generalized hyperalgesia: a surrogate pain model to study the relationship of insomnia and pain. Schuh-Hofer S, Wodarski R, Pfau DB, Caspani O, Magerl W, Kennedy JD, Treede RD (2013) Pain 154, 1613-1621
  8. Experimental characterization of the effects of acute stresslike doses of hydrocortisone in human neurogenic hyperalgesia models.
    Michaux GP, Magerl W, Anton F, Treede RD (2012) Pain 153, 420-428.
  9. Neuropathic pain: redefinition and a grading system for clinical and research purposes.
    Treede RD, Jensen TS, Campbell JN, Cruccu G, Dostrovsky JO, Griffin JW, Hansson P, Hughes R, Nurmikko T, Serra J (2008) Neurology 70: 1630-1635.
  10. Perceptual correlates of nociceptive long-term potentiation and long-term depression in humans.
    Klein T, Magerl W, Hopf HC, Sandkühler J, Treede RD (2004) J Neurosci 24, 938-946