Sex differences in pain experience and management

October 24, 2022

Strasbourg (France)


In neuroscience, sex-based differences impact all systems and subsequently affect a majority of health conditions, resulting in differences between men and women in disease risk factors, prevalence, clinical picture, and response to treatment.

The nociception-pain field particularly illustrates those sex-based differences. Chronic pain is common worldwide and the lack of effective treatments confers a tremendous burden on individuals and on the overall healthcare systems and society. Although opiates, such as morphine and its derivatives, remain the most potent painkillers available at the hospital, their use and efficiency are limited by mild (i.e., nausea, constipation) to severe side effects, including analgesic tolerance, opioid use disorders and ultimately respiratory depression, which can lead to death.

Over the past thirty years, clinical studies have shown that women report more severe pain at more locations than do men but also indicated a higher prevalence of pain treatment failures in women. These results correlate with data from pre-clinical studies indicating sex differences in the analgesic effect of morphine with a higher efficacy in males. Since then, the involvement of sex hormones, mu opioid receptor signalling, glial cells and metabolism as potential actors of these sex differences have been enlighten.

During this symposium, results obtained on sex-difference studies in the nociception-pain field at the pre-clinical and clinical levels will be presented. The meeting will be the occasion to foster the inclusion of females/women in (pre-)clinical studies in substantial numbers, a paramount prerequisite to moving forward the entire discipline and reducing the clinical and socioeconomic impact of chronic pain.


A Neurex workshop organised by Volodya HOVHANNISYAN with the support of Euridol, ITI-Neurostra, HaPpY & USIAS.


9h - 10h: Jeffrey Mogil Pain, sex and death

McGill University, Canada


10h - 11h: Serge Marchand Endogenous pain modulation in healthy subjects and patients

Sherbrooke University, Canada


11h -11h30: Coffee break


11h30 - 12h:  PhD pr post-doc presentations

11h30-11h45: Anne-Sophie Aubry Effect of sucrose bingeing on well-being and nociception in female and male mice, University of Strasbourg, France

11h45-12h00: Etienne Clauss-Creusot GRABing the oxytocin until the pain goes away, University of Strasbourg, France


12h - 13h:  Anne Murphy Impact of biological sex and age on opioid signalling in the rat periaqueductal gray

Georgia State University, USA


13h -14h30: Lunch break


14h30 -15h30: Michael Salter Sex and pain: it’s not always about the differences

University of Toronto, Canada


15h30-16h: Phd or Post-doc presentations

15h30-15h45: Juliette Kaeffert Development of analgesic tolerance to DOR agonist : involvment of GRASP1 in the mechanism and sex differences ?, University of Strasbourg, France

15h45-16h00: Lucien Ruelle-Le Glaunec Sex Differences in Nociception and Pain in context with Autism Spectrum Disorders, University of Strasbourg, France 


16h -16h30: Coffee break


16h30 -17h30 Yannick Goumon Sex differences in morphine anti-nociceptive effects

University of Strasbourg, France



October 24th, 2022.



The room of the Centre de Neurochimie has reached its maximum capacity. We are currently trying to find another solution.




The link to the videoconference will be sent a few days before the event to the partiicpants who registered for the online sessions.


Neurex workshops are part of the cycle B5 of the University of Basel. They allow students to gain Credit Points from attending workshops/meetings.

This specific workshop will give rise to the attribution of 0.5 CP.

Important: Full rules & how to proceed available here.