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Pharmacogenomics J. 2007 Oct;7(5):353-61. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Association of the mu-opioid receptor gene with smoking cessation.

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Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.


We investigated the association of the OPRM1 genotype with long-term smoking cessation and change in body mass index (BMI) following a smoking cessation attempt among smokers who attempted to quit using the nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patch or placebo in a randomized controlled trial, and were followed-up over an 8-year period following their initial cessation attempt. We also investigated possible sex differences in these relationships, given evidence for sex differences in smoking cessation and central opioid mechanisms, as well as some evidence for sex differences in response to NRT. Our results indicate that OPRM1 genotype may moderate the effect of transdermal nicotine patch compared to placebo during active treatment, with a benefit of active NRT treatment evident in the OPRM1 AA genotype group only and those carrying one or more copies of the G allele demonstrating no benefit of active NRT versus placebo patch. Our results also indicate a sex difference in change in BMI at 8-year follow-up following a smoking cessation attempt, with ex-smokers demonstrating an increase in BMI, and this increase being greater in female subjects than in male subjects. We did not observe any association of OPRM1 genotype with change in BMI, although there was a trend for genotype to influence the observed sex difference in change in BMI over time. Future studies should attempt to replicate these findings, and investigate the relationship between both short- and long-term weight gain and smoking cessation and investigate possible mechanisms that may underlie these processes. Future studies should also investigate the role of OPRM1 genotype and smoking cessation on other appetitive and reward behaviours such as alcohol consumption.

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