Association between genetic polymorphisms and pain sensitivity in patients with hip osteoarthritis

Anne E Olesen, Lecia M Nielsen, Søren Feddersen, Joachim Erlenwein, Frank Petzke, Michael Przemeck, Lona L Christrup, Asbjørn M Drewes

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Factors such as age, gender, and genetic polymorphisms may explain individual differences in pain phenotype. Genetic associations with pain sensitivity have previously been investigated in osteoarthritis patients, with a focus on the P2X7, TRPV1, and TACR1 genes. However, other genes may play a role as well. Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease, and many patients suffering from this disease are thought to have increased sensitivity to noxious stimuli resulting from sensitization in the nociceptive system. The aim of this study was to investigate if genetic variants of mu, kappa, and delta opioid receptor genes (OPRM1, OPRK1, and OPRD1) and the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) influenced the pain phenotype in patients with osteoarthritis. Methods: The frequencies of 17 polymorphisms were examined. Pain sensitivity was assessed preoperatively by (1) hip rotation, (2) contact heat stimulation, (3) conditioned pain modulation effect, and (4) pressure stimulation at the tibia in both the affected and the unaffected leg. Results: Ninety-two patients (mean age 66 years) with unilateral hip osteoarthritis were included in the study. Carriage of the OPRM1 rs589046T allele was found to be associated with increased pain ratings during hip rotation (P = 0.04) and increased conditioned pain modulation (P = 0.049). Carriage of the OPRD1 rs2234918C allele was found to be associated with an increased pain detection threshold to contact heat stimulation (P = 0.001). No other associations were found (all P > 0.05). Conclusion: Results from the present study suggest that, in patients with hip osteoarthritis, genetic variants in OPRM1 and OPRD1 may contribute to the pain phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPain Practice
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)587-596
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2017 World Institute of Pain.


  • Journal Article
  • pain
  • genes


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