COMT val158met Polymorphism and Neural Pain Processing

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 01/2012; 7(1):e23658. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023658
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A functional polymorphism (val158met) of the gene coding for Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COM) has been demonstrated to be related to processing of emotional stimuli. Also, this polymorphism has been found to be associated with pain regulation in healthy subjects. Therefore, we investigated a possible influence of this polymorphism on pain processing in healthy persons as well as in subjects with markedly reduced pain sensitivity in the context of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Fifty females (25 patients with BPD and 25 healthy control participants) were included in this study. Genotype had a significant--though moderate--effect on pain sensitivity, but only in healthies. The number of val alleles was correlated with the BOLD response in several pain-processing brain regions, including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex, lateral globus pallidus, anterior and posterior insula. Within the subgroup of healthy participants, the number of val alleles was positively correlated with the BOLD response in posterior parietal, posterior cingulate, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. BPD patients revealed a positive correlation between the number of val alleles and BOLD signal in anterior and posterior insula. Thus, our data show that the val158met polymorphism in the COMT gene contributes significantly to inter-individual differences in neural pain processing: in healthy people, this polymorphism was more related to cognitive aspects of pain processing, whereas BPD patients with reduced pain sensitivity showed an association with activity in brain regions related to affective pain processing.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background and purposeIt is currently unknown if common genetic variants influence the prognosis of patients with medication overuse headache (MOH). Here the role of two common single nucleotide polymorphisms in the COMT gene (rs4680 and rs6269), as well as the STin2 variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism in the SLC6A4 gene, were evaluated as predictors for long-term outcomes of MOH patients after withdrawal therapy.Methods Genotyping was conducted by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis or real-time PCR allelic discrimination assay on genomic DNA extracted from peripheral blood. Gene variants association was evaluated by logistic regression analysis adjusted for clinical confounding factors, and the threshold of statistical significance for multiple testing was set at P < 0.012.ResultsSixty-five MOH patients with unsuccessful detoxification and 83 MOH patients with effective drug withdrawal therapy were available for the analysis. rs4680G allele carriers or the COMT rs6269G-rs4680G haplotype were found to be associated with a lower risk of relapse within the first year after successful detoxification therapy, in comparison with homozygous rs4680A allele carriers [odds ratio (OR) 0.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.05–0.61, P = 0.007] or with the COMT rs6269A-rs4680A haplotype (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.06–0.54, P = 0.003), respectively. In addition, carriers of the STin2 VNTR short allele were found at higher odds for the composite poor outcome including unsuccessful withdrawal therapy and relapse within 12 months of follow-up after successful detoxification (OR 2.81, 95%CI 1.26–6.25, P = 0.009).Conclusions Our results indicate that genotyping for COMT rs4680 and SLC6A4 STin2 VNTR could be useful for the identification of MOH patients at higher risk of poor prognosis after drug withdrawal.
    European Journal of Neurology 03/2014; 21(7). DOI:10.1111/ene.12424 · 3.85 Impact Factor
  • 01/2014; 1(1):12. DOI:10.1186/2051-6673-1-12
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is suggested that genetic variations explain a significant portion of the variability in pain perception; therefore, increased understanding of pain-related genetic influences may identify new targets for therapies and treatments. The relative contribution of the different genes to the variance in clinical and experimental pain responses remains unknown. It is suggested that the genetic contributions to pain perception vary across pain modalities. For example, it has been suggested that more than 60% of the variance in cold pressor responses can be explained by genetic factors; in comparison, only 26% of the variance in heat pain responses is explained by these variations. Thus, the selection of pain model might markedly influence the magnitude of the association between the pain phenotype and genetic variability. Thermal pain sensation is complex with multiple molecular and cellular mechanisms operating alone and in combination within the peripheral and central nervous system. It is thus highly probable that the thermal pain experience is affected by genetic variants in one or more of the pathways involved in the thermal pain signaling. This review aims to present and discuss some of the genetic variations that have previously been associated with different experimental thermal pain models.
    BioMed Research International 2015:349584. DOI:10.1155/2015/349584 · 2.71 Impact Factor

Full-text (3 Sources)

Available from
May 21, 2014