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ABCB1 haplotype and OPRM1 118A > G genotype interaction in methadone maintenance treatment pharmacogenetics

Authors Barratt D, Coller J, Hallinan, Byrne, White, Foster, Somogyi A

Received 16 December 2011

Accepted for publication 8 February 2012

Published 18 April 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 53—62


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Daniel T Barratt1, Janet K Coller1, Richard Hallinan2, Andrew Byrne2, Jason M White1, David JR Foster3, Andrew A Somogyi1,4
1Discipline of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia; 2The Byrne Surgery, Specialist Drug and Alcohol Practice, Redfern, New South Wales; 3Division of Health Sciences, Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia; 4Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Background: Genetic variability in ABCB1, encoding the P-glycoprotein efflux transporter, has been linked to altered methadone maintenance treatment dose requirements. However, subsequent studies have indicated that additional environmental or genetic factors may confound ABCB1 pharmacogenetics in different methadone maintenance treatment settings. There is evidence that genetic variability in OPRM1, encoding the mu opioid receptor, and ABCB1 may interact to affect morphine response in opposite ways. This study aimed to examine whether a similar gene-gene interaction occurs for methadone in methadone maintenance treatment.
Methods: Opioid-dependent subjects (n = 119) maintained on methadone (15–300 mg/day) were genotyped for five single nucleotide polymorphisms of ABCB1 (61A > G; 1199G > A; 1236C > T; 2677G > T; 3435C > T), as well as for the OPRM1 18A > G single nucleotide polymorphism. Subjects’ methadone doses and trough plasma (R)-methadone concentrations (Ctrough) were compared between ABCB1 haplotypes (with and without controlling for OPRM1 genotype), and between OPRM1 genotypes (with and without controlling for ABCB1 haplotype).
Results: Among wild-type OPRM1 subjects, an ABCB1 variant haplotype group (subjects with a wild-type and 61A:1199G:1236C:2677T:3435T haplotype combination, or homozygous for the 61A:1199G:1236C:2677T:3435T haplotype) had significantly lower doses (median ± standard deviation 35 ± 5 versus 180 ± 65 mg/day, P < 0.01) and Ctrough (78 ± 22 versus 177 ± 97 ng/mL, P < 0.05) than ABCB1 wild-type subjects. Among subjects with the most common ABCB1 haplotype combination (wild-type with 61A:1199G:1236T:2677T:3435T), the OPRM1 118 A/G genotype was associated with a significantly higher Ctrough than 118 A/A (250 ± 126 versus 108 ± 36 ng/mL, P = 0.016). No ABCB1 haplotype group or OPRM1 genotype was associated with dose or Ctrough without taking into account confounding genetic variability at the other locus. Therefore, two interacting pharmacogenetic determinants of methadone maintenance treatment response were identified, ie, ABCB1, where variants are associated with lower methadone requirements, and OPRM1, where the variant is associated with higher methadone requirements.
Conclusion: These opposing pharmacogenetic effects therefore need to be considered in combination when assessing methadone maintenance treatment pharmacogenetics.

Keywords: methadone, opiate substitution treatment, ABCB1, P-glycoprotein, OPRM1, receptors, opioid, mu

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