A genetic association study of the mu opioid receptor and severe opioid dependence.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVES: Twin, family and adoption studies have suggested that vulnerability to opioid dependence may be a partially inherited trait (Cadoret et al., 1986; Merikangas et al., 1998; Tsuang et al., 1998, 2001). Studies using animal models also support a role for genetic factors in opioid dependence, and point to a locus of major effect on mouse chromosome 10 (Berrettini et al., 1994; Alexander et al., 1996), which harbors the mu opioid receptor gene (Mor1) (Kozak et al., 1994). The gene encoding the human mu opioid receptor (OPRM1) is thus an obvious candidate gene for contributing to opioid dependence. A recent report (Hoehe et al., 2000) found a significant association between a specific combination of OPRM1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and substance dependence. METHODS: In the current study, we genotyped 213 subjects with severe opioid dependence (89 African-Americans, 124 European-Americans) and 196 carefully screened "supercontrol" subjects (96 African-Americans, 100 European-Americans) at five SNPs residing in the OPRM1 gene. The polymorphisms include three in the promoter region (T-1793A, -1699T insertion and A-1320G) and two in exon 1 (C+17T [Ala6Val] and A+118G [Asp40Asn]). RESULTS: Statistical analysis of the allele frequency differences between opioid-dependent and control subjects for each of the polymorphisms studied yielded P values in the range of 0.444-1.000. Haplotype analysis failed to identify any specific combination of SNPs associated with the phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: Despite reasonable statistical power we found no evidence of association between the five mu opioid receptor polymorphisms studied and severe opioid dependence in our sample. There were, however, significant allele frequency differences between African-Americans and European-Americans for all five polymorphisms, irrespective of drug-dependent status. Linkage disequilibrium analysis of the African-American genotypes indicated linkage disequilibrium (P<0.0001) across the five-polymorphism, 1911 base pair region. In addition, only four haplotypes of these five polymorphisms are predicted to exist in African-Americans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Crowley, JJ; Oslin, DW; Patkar, AA; Gottheil, E; DeMaria, PA; O'Brien, CP; Berrettini, WH; Grice, DE

Published Date

  • September 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 169 - 173

PubMed ID

  • 12960749

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12960749

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0955-8829

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00041444-200309000-00006


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England