Genetic variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene and morphine requirements in cancer patients with pain.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Genetic variation contributes to differences in pain sensitivity and response to different analgesics. Catecholamines are involved in the modulation of pain and are partly metabolized by the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme. Genetic variability in the COMT gene may therefore contribute to differences in pain sensitivity and response to analgesics. It is shown that a polymorphism in the COMT gene, Rs4680 (Val158Met), influence pain sensitivity in human experimental pain and the efficacy for morphine in cancer pain treatment. In this study we wanted to investigate if variability in other regions in the COMT gene also contributes to interindividual variability in morphine efficacy. RESULTS: We genotyped 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) throughout the COMT gene, and constructed haplotypes from these 11 SNPs, which were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. We compared both genotypes and haplotypes against pharmacological, demographical and patient symptoms measurements in a Caucasian cancer patient cohort (n = 197) receiving oral morphine treatment for cancer pain. There were two frequent haplotypes (34.5% and 17.8%) in our cohort. Multivariate analyses showed that patients carrying the most frequent haplotype (34.5%) needed lower morphine doses than patients not carrying the haplotype, with a reduction factor of 0.71 (p = 0.005). On the allele level, carriers of alleles for six of the SNPs show weak associations in respect to morphine dose and the alleles associated with the lowest morphine doses constitute part of the most frequent haplotype. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that genetic variability in the COMT gene influence the efficacy of morphine in cancer patients with pain, and that increased understanding of this variability is reached by expanding from analyses of single SNPs to haplotype construction and analyses.
Project description:Effective perioperative analgesia is lacking for children owing to interindividual variations and underdosing of opioids caused by fear of adverse effects. We investigated the role of COMT SNPs on postoperative pain management in children.One hundred and forty nine children undergoing adenotonsillectomy were enrolled. The associations of four COMT SNPs (rs6269, rs4633, rs4818 and rs4680) with postoperative pain were analyzed and outcome measures included maximum pain scores, need for postoperative opioid interventions and postoperative morphine requirements.We detected an association of postoperative opioid intervention need with all four COMT SNPs. Minor allele carriers of COMT SNPs were approximately three-times more likely to require analgesic interventions than homozygotes of major alleles (p-value range: 0.0031-0.0127; odds ratio range: 2.6-3.1). In addition, significant association was detected between maximum Face, Leg, Activity, Consolability, Cry (FLACC) pain scores and three COMT SNPs (rs6269, rs4633 and rs4680). Haplotype 1 (ATCA: 51.3%) and Haplotype 2 (GCGG: 36.2%) are more frequent. Haplotype 2 was associated with higher odds of intravenous analgesic intervention need in postanesthesia recovery unit with an odds ratio of 2.6 (95% CI: 1.2-5.4; p-value = 0.022).COMT SNPs may play a significant role in interindividual variation in postoperative pain perception and postoperative morphine requirements in children. Original submitted 16 August 2013; Revision submitted 13 December 2013.
Project description:Autonomic dysfunction is frequent in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Heart rate variability analyses have demonstrated signs of ongoing sympathetic hyperactivity. Catecholamines are sympathetic neurotransmitters. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme, is the major catecholamine-clearing pathway. There are several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the COMT gene associated with the different catecholamine-clearing abilities of the COMT enzyme. These SNPs are in linkage disequilibrium and segregate as 'haplotypes'. Healthy females with a particular COMT gene haplotype (ACCG) producing a defective enzyme are more sensitive to painful stimuli. The objective of our study was to define whether women with FM, from two different countries (Mexico and Spain), have the COMT gene haplotypes that have been previously associated with greater sensitivity to pain. All the individuals in the study were female. Fifty-seven Mexican patients and 78 Spanish patients were compared with their respective healthy control groups. All participants filled out the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). Six COMT SNPs (rs2097903, rs6269, rs4633, rs4818, rs4680, and rs165599) were genotyped from peripheral blood DNA. In Spanish patients, there was a significant association between three SNPs (rs6269, rs4818, and rs4680) and the presence of FM when compared with healthy controls. Moreover, in Spanish patients with the 'high pain sensitivity' haplotype (ACCG), the disease, as assessed by the FIQ, was more severe. By contrast, Mexican patients displayed only a weak association between rs6269 and rs165599, and some FIQ subscales. In our group of Spanish patients, there was an association between FM and the COMT haplotype previously associated with high pain sensitivity. This association was not observed in Mexican patients. Studies with a larger sample size are needed in order to verify or amend these preliminary results.
Project description:Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an enzyme that plays a key role in the modulation of catechol-dependent functions such as cognition, cardiovascular function, and pain processing. Three common haplotypes of the human COMT gene, divergent in two synonymous and one nonsynonymous (val(158)met) position, designated as low (LPS), average (APS), and high pain sensitive (HPS), are associated with experimental pain sensitivity and risk of developing chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions. APS and HPS haplotypes produce significant functional effects, coding for 3- and 20-fold reductions in COMT enzymatic activity, respectively. In the present study, we investigated whether additional minor single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), accruing in 1 to 5% of the population, situated in the COMT transcript region contribute to haplotype-dependent enzymatic activity. Computer analysis of COMT ESTs showed that one synonymous minor SNP (rs769224) is linked to the APS haplotype and three minor SNPs (two synonymous: rs6267, rs740602 and one nonsynonymous: rs8192488) are linked to the HPS haplotype. Results from in silico and in vitro experiments revealed that inclusion of allelic variants of these minor SNPs in APS or HPS haplotypes did not modify COMT function at the level of mRNA folding, RNA transcription, protein translation, or enzymatic activity. These data suggest that neutral variants are carried with APS and HPS haplotypes, while the high activity LPS haplotype displays less linked variation. Thus, both minor synonymous and nonsynonymous SNPs in the coding region are markers of functional APS and HPS haplotypes rather than independent contributors to COMT activity.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Treatment outcome of low back pain (LBP) is associated with inter-individual variations in pain relief and functional disability. Genetic variants of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene have previously been shown to be associated with pain sensitivity and pain medication. This study examines the association between COMT polymorphisms and 7-11 year change in Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Visual Analog Score (VAS) for LBP as clinical outcome variables in patients treated with surgical instrumented lumbar fusion or cognitive intervention and exercise. METHODS: 93 unrelated patients with chronic LBP for duration of >1 year and lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) were treated with lumbar fusion (N = 60) or cognitive therapy and exercises (N = 33). Standardised questionnaires assessing the ODI, VAS LBP, psychological factors and use of analgesics, were answered by patients both at baseline and at 7-11 years follow-up. Four SNPs in the COMT gene were successfully genotyped. Single marker as well as haplotype association with change in ODI and VAS LBP, were analyzed using Haploview, linear regression and R-package Haplostats. P-values were not formally corrected for multiple testing as this was an explorative study. RESULTS: Association analysis of individual SNPs adjusted for covariates revealed association of rs4633 and rs4680 with post treatment improvement in VAS LBP (p = 0.02, mean difference (?) = 13.5 and p = 0.02, ? = 14.2 respectively). SNPs, rs4633 and rs4680 were found to be genotypically similar and in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD). A significant association was found with covariates, analgesics (p = 0.001, ? = 18.6); anxiety and depression (p = 0.008, ? = 15.4) and age (p = 0.03, mean difference per year (?) = 0.7) at follow-up. There was a tendency for better improvement among heterozygous patients compared to the homozygous. No association was observed for the analysis of the common haplotypes, these SNPs were situated on. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest an influence of genetic variants of COMT gene in describing the variation in pain after treatment for low back pain. Replication in large samples with testing for other pain related genes is warranted.
Project description:Opioids are commonly used as effective analgesics for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. However, considerable individual differences have been widely observed in sensitivity to opioid analgesics. We focused on a G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channel subunit, GIRK2, that is an important molecule in opioid transmission. In our initial polymorphism search, a total of nine single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the whole exon, 5'-flanking, and exon-intron boundary regions of the KCNJ6 gene encoding GIRK2. Among them, G-1250A and A1032G were selected as representative SNPs for further association studies. In an association study of 129 subjects who underwent major open abdominal surgery, the A/A genotype in the A1032G SNP and -1250G/1032A haplotype were significantly associated with increased postoperative analgesic requirements compared with other genotypes and haplotypes. The total dose (mean+/-SEM) of rescue analgesics converted to equivalent oral morphine doses was 20.45+/-9.27 mg, 10.84+/-2.24 mg, and 13.07+/-2.39 mg for the A/A, A/G, and G/G genotypes in the A1032G SNP, respectively. Additionally, KCNJ6 gene expression levels in the 1032A/A subjects were significantly decreased compared with the 1032A/G and 1032G/G subjects in a real-time quantitative PCR analysis using human brain tissues, suggesting that the 1032A/A subjects required more analgesics because of lower KCNJ6 gene expression levels and consequently insufficient analgesic effects. The results indicate that the A1032G SNP and G-1250A/A1032G haplotype could serve as markers that predict increased analgesic requirements. Our findings will provide valuable information for achieving satisfactory pain control and open new avenues for personalized pain treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:mu-opioid receptor ( OPRM1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase ( COMT) contribute to the neurotransmission pathway of pain. COMT affects mu receptor expression and density in the brain. The aim of this study was to explore the OPRM1 and COMT interaction effects on postoperative pain and opioid consumption. METHODS:This cross-sectional exploratory study used genotype and clinical data from 153 postoperative patients. Using multiple regression analyses, four single-nucleotide polymorphisms of COMT (rs6269, rs4633, rs4818, and rs4680), their haplotypes, and diplotypes were considered for their interactions with A118G of OPRM1 regarding postoperative pain and opioid consumption. RESULTS:For opioid consumption, significant interactions were found between OPRM1 A118G and COMT rs4680 ( p = .037) and between OPRM1 and COMT rs4633 ( p = .037). Patients having Met158Met of COMT rs4680 and AG/GG of OPRM1 or TT of COMT rs4633 and AG/GG of OPRM1 consumed the largest amount of opioid compared to those having other combinations. For postoperative pain, a significant interaction was found between OPRM1 and the low pain sensitivity (LPS; GCGG) haplotype of COMT ( p = .017). For patients with no copies of the LPS haplotype, AA of OPRM1 A118G was significantly associated with higher pain scores compared to the variant AG/GG. However, the opposite direction was observed for patients with at least one copy of the LPS haplotype. CONCLUSIONS:The interaction of OPRM1 with COMT may contribute to variability in postoperative pain and opioid consumption. Additional larger studies are needed to confirm findings.
Project description:Background:Vaso-occlusive pain episodes (VOEs) are the hallmark of sickle cell disease (SCD), and our current understanding of disease biology, treatment, and psychological covariates does not adequately explain the variability of pain in SCD. Functional variants in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene contribute to variability in pain perception, but their impact on pain perception in African American SCD patients is not well known. Methods:We studied COMT single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs6269, rs4633, rs4818, rs4680, and rs165599 to determine their relationship to patient self-reported pain, the number of acute VOEs, and their impact on daily life and health care utilization in 438 hemoglobin SS patients who participated in the walk-PHaSST study. Results:In women, two risk SNPs (rs4633 and rs165599) and the corresponding haplotype (ATCAA) were associated with increased frequency of pain-related emergency room visit. Conclusion:COMT functional variants may predispose SCD patients to worse acute pain in women. The association of COMT variants with the intensity of self-reported acute pain warrants further genetic study of pain perception in SCD.
Project description:Catechol-O-methyltransferase, encoded by COMT gene, is the primary enzyme that metabolizes catecholamines. COMT haplotypes have been associated with vulnerability to persistent non-traumatic pain. In this prospective observational study, we investigated the influence of COMT on persistent pain and pain interference with life functions after motor vehicle collision (MVC) in 859 European American adults for whom overall pain (0-10 numeric rating scale) and pain interference (Brief Pain Inventory) were assessed at week 6 after MVC. Ten single nucleotide polymorphisms spanning the COMT gene were successfully genotyped, and nine were present in three haploblocks: block 1 (rs2020917, rs737865, rs1544325), block 2 (rs4633, rs4818, rs4680, rs165774), and block 3 (rs174697, rs165599). After adjustment for multiple comparisons, haplotype TCG from block 1 predicted decreased pain interference (p = 0.004). The pain-protective effect of the low pain sensitivity (CGGG) haplotype from block 2 was only observed if at least one TCG haplotype was present in block 1 (haplotype × haplotype interaction p = 0.002 and <0.0001 for pain and pain interference, respectively). Haplotype AG from block 3 was associated with pain and interference in males only (sex × haplotype interaction p = 0.005 and 0.0005, respectively). These results suggest that genetic variants in the distal promoter are important contributors to the development of persistent pain after MVC, directly and via the interaction with haplotypes in the coding region of the gene.
Project description:Acute pain and opioid analgesia demonstrate inter-individual variability and polygenic influence. In 241 children of African American and 277 of European Caucasian ancestry, we sought to replicate select candidate gene associations with morphine dose and postoperative pain and then to estimate dose prediction limits. Twenty-seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from nine genes (ABCB1, ARRB2, COMT, DRD2, KCNJ6, MC1R, OPRD1, OPRM1, and UGT2B7) met selection criteria and were analyzed along with TAOK3. Few associations replicated: morphine dose (mcg/kg) in African American children and ABCB1 rs1045642 (A allele, ??=?-9.30, 95% CI: -17.25 to -1.35, p?=?0.02) and OPRM1 rs1799971 (G allele, ??=?23.19, 95% CI: 3.27-43.11, p?=?0.02); KCNJ6 rs2211843 and high pain in African American subjects (T allele, OR 2.08, 95% CI: 1.17-3.71, p?=?0.01) and in congruent European Caucasian pain phenotypes; and COMT rs740603 for high pain in European Caucasian subjects (A allele, OR: 0.69, 95% CI: 0.48-0.99, p?=?0.046). With age, body mass index, and physical status as covariates, simple top SNP candidate gene models could explain theoretical maximums of 24.2% (European Caucasian) and 14.6% (African American) of morphine dose variances.
Project description:The enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamine neurotransmitters involved in a number of physiological functions, including pain perception. Both human and mouse COMT genes possess functional polymorphisms contributing to interindividual variability in pain phenotypes such as sensitivity to noxious stimuli, severity of clinical pain, and response to pain treatment. In this study, we found that the effects of Comt functional variation in mice are modality specific. Spontaneous inflammatory nociception and thermal nociception behaviors were correlated the most with the presence of the B2 SINE transposon insertion residing in the 3'UTR mRNA region. Similarly, in humans, COMT functional haplotypes were associated with thermal pain perception and with capsaicin-induced pain. Furthermore, COMT genetic variations contributed to pain behaviors in mice and pain ratings in humans in a sex-specific manner. The ancestral Comt variant, without a B2 SINE insertion, was more strongly associated with sensitivity to capsaicin in female vs male mice. In humans, the haplotype coding for low COMT activity increased capsaicin-induced pain perception in women, but not men. These findings reemphasize the fundamental contribution of COMT to pain processes, and provide a fine-grained resolution of this contribution at the genetic level that can be used to guide future studies in the area of pain genetics.