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Ruth Drdla-Schutting
Assoc. Prof. Ruth Drdla-Schutting, PhD

Center for Brain Research (Division of Neurophysiology)
Position: Associate Professor

T +43 1 40160 34126

Further Information


Analgesics, Opioid; Astrocytes; Chronic Pain; Long-Term Potentiation; Microglia; Neuronal Plasticity; Spinal Cord

Research interests

One mechanisms thought to underly the transition of acute to chronic pain is synaptic long-term potentiation at synapses in the superficial spinal cord dorsal horn, which can be induced by strong noxious stimuli such as inflammation or trauma, or upon withdrawal of opioids. I am investigating the mechanisms of induction, maintenance and reversal of this form of synaptic plasticity in the nociceptive system.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

  • In vivo electropyhsiology
  • In vitro electrophysiology (acute slices)
  • Calcium Imaging
  • Behavioural Tests
  • Immunostainings

Selected publications

  1. Drdla-Schutting, R. et al., 2012. Erasure of a Spinal Memory Trace of Pain by a Brief, High-Dose Opioid Administration. Science, 335(6065), pp.235-238. Available at:
  2. Drdla, R. et al., 2009. Induction of Synaptic Long-Term Potentiation After Opioid Withdrawal. Science, 325(5937), pp.207-210. Available at:
  3. Heinl, C. et al., 2011. Distinct Mechanisms Underlying Pronociceptive Effects of Opioids. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(46), pp.16748-16756. Available at:
  4. Gruber-Schoffnegger, D. et al., 2013. Induction of Thermal Hyperalgesia and Synaptic Long-Term Potentiation in the Spinal Cord Lamina I by TNF-'
  5. Gerhold, K.J. et al., 2015. Pronociceptive and Antinociceptive Effects of Buprenorphine in the Spinal Cord Dorsal Horn Cover a Dose Range of Four Orders of Magnitude. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(26), pp.9580-9594. Available at: