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PainCells SIGNED

Decomposition of pain into celltypes

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PainCells" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Nobels Vag 5
postcode: 17177

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Sweden [SE]
 Total cost 2˙443˙952 €
 EC max contribution 2˙443˙952 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-08-01   to  2022-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET SE (STOCKHOLM) coordinator 2˙443˙952.00


 Project objective

Almost 20% of the population has an ongoing pain problem. Pain is caused by a complex recruitment of different types of sensory neurons with different response-profiles and hence, the integrated response of an assembly of different neuronal types results in pain. Due to technical limitations, a system-wide approach to resolve the complexity of cell types and their involvement in the development of pain has yet not been tried.

PainCells will first identify and classify sensory neuron types by single-cell RNA seq in rodent and non-human primate. Based on the new classification we will determine the cellular basis for transduction of somatic sensation by developing enabling technologies allowing an activity-based Cre-dependent permanent labeling and identification by RNA-seq the exact cell types and hence, also neuronal assemblies active during particular types of pain. These assemblies will thereafter be silenced, ablated or artificially activated to functionally determine the role of these circuits in pain disorders. This work will for the first time reveal the full complexity of different cell types engaged in particular types of pain and unravel by activity-based mouse genetics the role of that these play in pain disorders. Thus, PainCells will reveal system-wide principles of coding pain in the nervous system.

PainCells will also address the role of terminal glial cells in the skin. This ignored cell type has in preliminary results been shown to respond to and transmit painful stimuli to primary sensory neurons. We will ascertain the role of terminal glial cells in the skin as pain initiating cells and in pain disorders. The discovery that glial cells in addition to sensory neurons represent pain receptive cells should fundamentally change the pain field.

Overall, this proposal takes a new system-wide strategy in that will affect development of new pain managing drugs, a field that has made little clinical advance the past century.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Boris Eleuteri, Sergi Aranda, Patrik Ernfors
NoRC Recruitment by H2A.X Deposition at rRNA Gene Promoter Limits Embryonic Stem Cell Proliferation
published pages: 1853-1866, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.04.023
Cell Reports 23/6 2020-04-01
2019 Luca Bartesaghi, Yiqiao Wang, Paula Fontanet, Simone Wanderoy, Finja Berger, Haohao Wu, Natalia Akkuratova, Filipa Bouçanova, Jean-Jacques Médard, Charles Petitpré, Mark A. Landy, Ming-Dong Zhang, Philip Harrer, Claudia Stendel, Rolf Stucka, Marina Dusl, Maria Eleni Kastriti, Laura Croci, Helen C. Lai, Gian Giacomo Consalez, Alexandre Pattyn, Patrik Ernfors, Jan Senderek, Igor Adameyko, Francoi
PRDM12 Is Required for Initiation of the Nociceptive Neuron Lineage during Neurogenesis
published pages: 3484-3492.e4, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.02.098
Cell Reports 26/13 2020-04-01
2019 Jussi Kupari, Martin Häring, Eneritz Agirre, Gonçalo Castelo-Branco, Patrik Ernfors
An Atlas of Vagal Sensory Neurons and Their Molecular Specialization
published pages: 2508-2523.e4, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.04.096
Cell Reports 27/8 2020-04-01
2019 Hind Abdo, Laura Calvo-Enrique, Jose Martinez Lopez, Jianren Song, Ming-Dong Zhang, Dmitry Usoskin, Abdeljabbar El Manira, Igor Adameyko, Jens Hjerling-Leffler, Patrik Ernfors
Specialized cutaneous Schwann cells initiate pain sensation
published pages: 695-699, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aax6452
Science 365/6454 2020-04-01
2018 Amit Zeisel, Hannah Hochgerner, Peter Lönnerberg, Anna Johnsson, Fatima Memic, Job van der Zwan, Martin Häring, Emelie Braun, Lars E. Borm, Gioele La Manno, Simone Codeluppi, Alessandro Furlan, Kawai Lee, Nathan Skene, Kenneth D. Harris, Jens Hjerling-Leffler, Ernest Arenas, Patrik Ernfors, Ulrika Marklund, Sten Linnarsson
Molecular Architecture of the Mouse Nervous System
published pages: 999-1014.e22, ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.06.021
Cell 174/4 2019-04-18
2017 Changgeng Peng, Lili Li, Ming-Dong Zhang, Carolina Bengtsson Gonzales, Marc Parisien, Inna Belfer, Dmitry Usoskin, Hind Abdo, Alessandro Furlan, Martin Häring, Francois Lallemend, Tibor Harkany, Luda Diatchenko, Tomas Hökfelt, Jens Hjerling-Leffler, Patrik Ernfors
miR-183 cluster scales mechanical pain sensitivity by regulating basal and neuropathic pain genes
published pages: 1168-1171, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7671
Science 356/6343 2019-04-18
2017 Alessandro Furlan, Vyacheslav Dyachuk, Maria Eleni Kastriti, Laura Calvo-Enrique, Hind Abdo, Saida Hadjab, Tatiana Chontorotzea, Natalia Akkuratova, Dmitry Usoskin, Dmitry Kamenev, Julian Petersen, Kazunori Sunadome, Fatima Memic, Ulrika Marklund, Kaj Fried, Piotr Topilko, Francois Lallemend, Peter V. Kharchenko, Patrik Ernfors, Igor Adameyko
Multipotent peripheral glial cells generate neuroendocrine cells of the adrenal medulla
published pages: eaal3753, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aal3753
Science 357/6346 2019-04-18
2018 Martin Häring, Amit Zeisel, Hannah Hochgerner, Puneet Rinwa, Jon E. T. Jakobsson, Peter Lönnerberg, Gioele La Manno, Nilesh Sharma, Lotta Borgius, Ole Kiehn, Malin C. Lagerström, Sten Linnarsson, Patrik Ernfors
Neuronal atlas of the dorsal horn defines its architecture and links sensory input to transcriptional cell types
published pages: 869-880, ISSN: 1097-6256, DOI: 10.1038/s41593-018-0141-1
Nature Neuroscience 21/6 2019-04-18
2018 Changgeng Peng, Alessandro Furlan, Ming-Dong Zhang, Jie Su, Moritz Lübke, Peter Lönnerberg, Hind Abdo, Jana Sontheimer, Erik Sundström, Patrik Ernfors
Termination of cell-type specification gene programs by the miR-183 cluster determines the population sizes of low-threshold mechanosensitive neurons
published pages: dev165613, ISSN: 0950-1991, DOI: 10.1242/dev.165613
Development 145/18 2019-04-18
2019 Igor Adameyko, Patrik Ernfors
Nerves Do It Again: Donation of Mesenchymal Cells for Tissue Regeneration
published pages: 195-197, ISSN: 1934-5909, DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2019.01.006
Cell Stem Cell 24/2 2019-04-18

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