Genetic discovery: the prescription for chronic pain.
ABSTRACT: A recent publication that combined rat gene expression data and a human genetic association study has identified the first genetic risk factor for chronic pain in humans. In four of the five cohorts studied, there was a significant association of an allele within a gene (KCNS1) encoding a potassium channel (Kv9.1) with an increased risk for chronic pain. Identification of genetic risk factors for chronic pain could catalyze new advances in this difficult clinical area that has become a major public health problem. Genomic-medicine-based advances for chronic pain could include the development of a mechanism-based classification system for chronic pain, new treatment options, improved methods for treatment selection and targeted prevention strategies for high-risk individuals.
Project description:Not all patients with nerve injury develop neuropathic pain. The extent of nerve damage and age at the time of injury are two of the few risk factors identified to date. In addition, preclinical studies show that neuropathic pain variance is heritable. To define such factors further, we performed a large-scale gene profiling experiment which plotted global expression changes in the rat dorsal root ganglion in three peripheral neuropathic pain models. This resulted in the discovery that the potassium channel alpha subunit KCNS1, involved in neuronal excitability, is constitutively expressed in sensory neurons and markedly downregulated following nerve injury. KCNS1 was then characterized by an unbiased network analysis as a putative pain gene, a result confirmed by single nucleotide polymorphism association studies in humans. A common amino acid changing allele, the 'valine risk allele', was significantly associated with higher pain scores in five of six independent patient cohorts assayed (total of 1359 subjects). Risk allele prevalence is high, with 18-22% of the population homozygous, and an additional 50% heterozygous. At lower levels of nerve damage (lumbar back pain with disc herniation) association with greater pain outcome in homozygote patients is P = 0.003, increasing to P = 0.0001 for higher levels of nerve injury (limb amputation). The combined P-value for pain association in all six cohorts tested is 1.14 E-08. The risk profile of this marker is additive: two copies confer the most, one intermediate and none the least risk. Relative degrees of enhanced risk vary between cohorts, but for patients with lumbar back pain, they range between 2- and 3-fold. Although work still remains to define the potential role of this protein in the pathogenic process, here we present the KCNS1 allele rs734784 as one of the first prognostic indicators of chronic pain risk. Screening for this allele could help define those individuals prone to a transition to persistent pain, and thus requiring therapeutic strategies or lifestyle changes that minimize nerve injury. Microarrays were run on mRNA extracted from adult rat L4 and L5 DRGs cells after 3,7,21,40 hours after three different sciatic nerve lesions [Spared Nerve Injury (SNI); Chronic Constriction Injury (CCI); Spinal Nerve Ligation (Ch) with Sham controls (SH)].
Project description:Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels are increasingly recognised as key regulators of nociceptive excitability. Kcns1 is one of the first potassium channels to be associated with neuronal hyperexcitability and mechanical sensitivity in the rat, as well as pain intensity and risk of developing chronic pain in humans. Here, we show that in mice, Kcns1 is predominantly expressed in the cell body and axons of myelinated sensory neurons positive for neurofilament-200, including A?-fiber nociceptors and low-threshold A? mechanoreceptors. In the spinal cord, Kcns1 was detected in laminae III to V of the dorsal horn where most sensory A fibers terminate, as well as large motoneurons of the ventral horn. To investigate Kcns1 function specifically in the periphery, we generated transgenic mice in which the gene is deleted in all sensory neurons but retained in the central nervous system. Kcns1 ablation resulted in a modest increase in basal mechanical pain, with no change in thermal pain processing. After neuropathic injury, Kcns1 KO mice exhibited exaggerated mechanical pain responses and hypersensitivity to both noxious and innocuous cold, consistent with increased A-fiber activity. Interestingly, Kcns1 deletion also improved locomotor performance in the rotarod test, indicative of augmented proprioceptive signalling. Our results suggest that restoring Kcns1 function in the periphery may be of some use in ameliorating mechanical and cold pain in chronic states.
Project description:Not all patients with nerve injury develop neuropathic pain. The extent of nerve damage and age at the time of injury are two of the few risk factors identified to date. In addition, preclinical studies show that neuropathic pain variance is heritable. To define such factors further, we performed a large-scale gene profiling experiment which plotted global expression changes in the rat dorsal root ganglion in three peripheral neuropathic pain models. This resulted in the discovery that the potassium channel alpha subunit KCNS1, involved in neuronal excitability, is constitutively expressed in sensory neurons and markedly downregulated following nerve injury. KCNS1 was then characterized by an unbiased network analysis as a putative pain gene, a result confirmed by single nucleotide polymorphism association studies in humans. A common amino acid changing allele, the 'valine risk allele', was significantly associated with higher pain scores in five of six independent patient cohorts assayed (total of 1359 subjects). Risk allele prevalence is high, with 18-22% of the population homozygous, and an additional 50% heterozygous. At lower levels of nerve damage (lumbar back pain with disc herniation) association with greater pain outcome in homozygote patients is P = 0.003, increasing to P = 0.0001 for higher levels of nerve injury (limb amputation). The combined P-value for pain association in all six cohorts tested is 1.14 E-08. The risk profile of this marker is additive: two copies confer the most, one intermediate and none the least risk. Relative degrees of enhanced risk vary between cohorts, but for patients with lumbar back pain, they range between 2- and 3-fold. Although work still remains to define the potential role of this protein in the pathogenic process, here we present the KCNS1 allele rs734784 as one of the first prognostic indicators of chronic pain risk. Screening for this allele could help define those individuals prone to a transition to persistent pain, and thus requiring therapeutic strategies or lifestyle changes that minimize nerve injury.
Project description:Chronic pain is influenced by biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors. The current study investigated potential roles for combinations of genetic and psychological factors in the development and/or maintenance of chronic musculoskeletal pain. An exercise-induced shoulder injury model was used, and a priori selected genetic (ADRB2, COMT, OPRM1, AVPR1 A, GCH1, and KCNS1) and psychological (anxiety, depressive symptoms, pain catastrophizing, fear of pain, and kinesiophobia) factors were included as predictors. Pain phenotypes were shoulder pain intensity (5-day average and peak reported on numerical rating scale), upper extremity disability (5-day average and peak reported on the QuickDASH), and shoulder pain duration (in days). After controlling for age, sex, and race, the genetic and psychological predictors were entered as main effects and interaction terms in separate regression models for the different pain phenotypes. Results from the recruited cohort (N = 190) indicated strong statistical evidence for interactions between the COMT diplotype and 1) pain catastrophizing for 5-day average upper extremity disability and 2) depressive symptoms for pain duration. There was moderate statistical evidence for interactions for other shoulder pain phenotypes between additional genes (ADRB2, AVPR1 A, and KCNS1) and depressive symptoms, pain catastrophizing, or kinesiophobia. These findings confirm the importance of the combined predictive ability of COMT with psychological distress and reveal other novel combinations of genetic and psychological factors that may merit additional investigation in other pain cohorts.Interactions between genetic and psychological factors were investigated as predictors of different exercise-induced shoulder pain phenotypes. The strongest statistical evidence was for interactions between the COMT diplotype and pain catastrophizing (for upper extremity disability) or depressive symptoms (for pain duration). Other novel genetic and psychological combinations were identified that may merit further investigation.
Project description:To identify novel combinations of genetic and psychological factors that predicted 12-month postoperative pain and disability outcomes following arthroscopic shoulder surgery.A prospective presurgical cohort (n?=?150) was recruited to complete validated psychological questionnaires and have their DNA collected from saliva. DNA was genotyped for a priori selected genes involved with pain modulation (ADRB2, OPRM1, AVPR1A, GCH1, and KCNS1) and inflammation (IL1B, TNF/LTA, and IL6). The outcome measures of interest were the Brief Pain Inventory and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire. Followup for the cohort was at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. After controlling for age, sex, race, and preoperative status, genetic and psychological factors were entered as main effects and interaction terms in separate general linear models for predicting postoperative pain and disability outcomes.Seven interactions involving pain-modulatory genes were identified. Three provided strong statistical evidence for different outcomes, including KCNS1 and kinesiophobia for preoperative pain intensity, ADRB2 and depressive symptoms for postoperative course, and GCH1 and anxiety symptoms for 12-month pain-intensity outcome. Ten interactions involving inflammatory genes were identified. Three provided strong statistical evidence for the 12-month postoperative course outcome, including 2 different IL6 single-nucleotide polymorphism and pain catastrophizing, and IL6 and depressive symptoms.The current study identified novel genetic and psychological interactions that can be used in future studies to further understand the development of persistent postoperative pain and investigate the effectiveness of tailored treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patients with prescription opioid use disorder commonly report relief of chronic pain as the chief reason for first opioid use; indeed, the prevalence of chronic pain is high in this population. Understanding the association between pain severity and subsequent opioid use is crucial for understanding how to manage these conditions simultaneously and has not been examined in this population. The aim of this analysis was to examine the proximal effect of pain severity on opioid use during 12 weeks of buprenorphine-naloxone therapy for patients with chronic pain and prescription opioid use disorder. METHODS:This study is a secondary analysis of a national, randomized, controlled trial of buprenorphine-naloxone plus counseling for prescription opioid dependent patients. The association between past-week pain severity and opioid use in the subsequent week was examined in 148 patients presenting with chronic pain at baseline. RESULTS:Results from a multivariable logistic regression model showed that greater pain severity in a given week was significantly associated with increased odds of opioid use in the following week over the 12-week treatment, even after adjusting for covariates associated with opioid use (aOR=1.15, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Despite previous reports of no association between baseline pain and subsequent opioid use, our findings suggest that patients who experience flare-ups of pain during treatment are prone to relapse to opioid use. Future studies may identify those who are at risk to use opioids by carefully monitoring patterns of their pain intensity over time.
Project description:Over the past decade, considerable research has accumulated showing that chronic pain patients experiencing high levels of negative affect (NA) are at increased risk for prescription opioid misuse. The primary objective of the present study was to examine the factors that underlie the association between NA and prescription opioid misuse among patients with chronic pain. In this study, 82 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain being prescribed opioid medication completed the Current Opioid Misuse Measure, a well-validated self-report questionnaire designed to assess prescription opioid misuse. Patients were also asked to complete self-report measures of pain intensity, NA, and opioid craving. A bootstrapped multiple mediation analysis was used to examine the mediating role of patients' pain intensity and opioid craving in the association between NA and prescription opioid misuse. Consistent with previous research, we found a significant association between NA and prescription opioid misuse. Interestingly, results revealed that opioid craving, but not pain intensity, mediated the association between NA and opioid misuse. The Discussion addresses the potential psychological and neurobiological factors that might contribute to the interrelationships among NA, opioid craving, and prescription opioid misuse in patients with pain. The clinical implications of our findings are also discussed.Our study provides new insights into the factors that underlie the association between negative affect and prescription opioid misuse in patients with chronic pain. Our findings could have important clinical implications, particularly for patients being prescribed opioid medication, and for reducing rates of opioid misuse in patients with pain.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Risk for prescription opioid addiction is an endemic public health concern, especially for adults with chronic pain. This study examined craving as a mediator from pain to opioid use outcomes during prescription opioid addiction treatment and tested whether counseling in pain coping skills moderated the effects of craving on treatment outcomes. METHOD:Secondary analysis on a sample (N = 148) randomized to standard or enhanced counseling for 12 weeks with adjunct opioid maintenance medication. Multilevel analyses examined mediated effects between weekly pain, craving, and opioid use, and tested the interaction between craving and a counseling module on pain coping skills. RESULTS:Greater pain predicted greater craving (? = 0.25, p < .001), which predicted next-week opioid use (? = 0.17, p < .001). A statistically significant indirect effect of craving (? = 0.04, 95% CI [0.02, 0.06]) mediated 95% of the total effect from pain to opioid use. A significant interaction (b = -0.22, p < .01) revealed that after receiving the pain coping module, the association between craving and next-week opioid use was reduced, with greater exposure to the module associated with stronger effects (b = -0.12, p < .01). CONCLUSION:More severe pain predicts greater opioid use due to the association between pain and cravings. Pain coping skills counseling suppressed the association between cravings and opioid use. For adults with chronic pain receiving treatment for prescription opioid addiction, interventions that address cravings through behavioral pain coping skills may be crucial for achieving optimal treatment outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
Project description:Chronic pain is highly prevalent worldwide and represents a significant socioeconomic and public health burden. Several aspects of chronic pain, for example back pain and a severity-related phenotype 'chronic pain grade', have been shown previously to be complex heritable traits with a polygenic component. Additional pain-related phenotypes capturing aspects of an individual's overall sensitivity to experiencing and reporting chronic pain have also been suggested as a focus for investigation. We made use of a measure of the number of sites of chronic pain in individuals within the UK general population. This measure, termed Multisite Chronic Pain (MCP), is a complex trait and its genetic architecture has not previously been investigated. To address this, we carried out a large-scale genome-wide association study (GWAS) of MCP in ~380,000 UK Biobank participants. Our findings were consistent with MCP having a significant polygenic component, with a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) heritability of 10.2%. In total 76 independent lead SNPs at 39 risk loci were associated with MCP. Additional gene-level association analyses identified neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, nervous system development, cell-cycle progression and apoptosis genes as enriched for genetic association with MCP. Genetic correlations were observed between MCP and a range of psychiatric, autoimmune and anthropometric traits, including major depressive disorder (MDD), asthma and Body Mass Index (BMI). Furthermore, in Mendelian randomisation (MR) analyses a causal effect of MCP on MDD was observed. Additionally, a polygenic risk score (PRS) for MCP was found to significantly predict chronic widespread pain (pain all over the body), indicating the existence of genetic variants contributing to both of these pain phenotypes. Overall, our findings support the proposition that chronic pain involves a strong nervous system component with implications for our understanding of the physiology of chronic pain. These discoveries may also inform the future development of novel treatment approaches.
Project description:Chronic postoperative pain is common and can have a negative impact on quality of life. Recent studies show that genetic risk factors are likely to play a role, although only gene-targeted analysis has been used to date. This is the first genome-wide association study to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with the development of chronic postoperative pain based on two independent cohorts. In a discovery cohort, 330 women scheduled for hysterectomy were genotyped. A case-control association analysis compared patients without chronic postoperative pain and the 34 who had severe chronic postoperative pain 3 months after surgery. No single-nucleotide polymorphisms reached genome-wide significance, but several showed suggestive associations with chronic postoperative pain (p < 1 × 10-5 ). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms with significance p < 1 × 10-5 were followed up in a replication cohort consisting of 203 men and women scheduled for orthopaedic or abdominal surgery. Ten of these patients developed severe chronic postoperative pain. A single-nucleotide polymorphism in NAV3 was significantly replicated with chronic postoperative pain in the replication cohort (p = 0.009). Meta-analysis revealed that two loci (IQGAP1 and CRTC3) were significantly associated with chronic postoperative pain at 3 months (IQGAP1 p = 3.93 × 10-6 ? = 2.3863, CRTC3 p = 2.26 × 10-6 , ? = 2.4209). The present genome-wide association study provides initial evidence for genetic risk factors of chronic postoperative pain and supports follow-up studies.