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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009 Mar;33(3):383-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2008.00846.x. Epub 2008 Nov 25.

OPRM1 Asn40Asp predicts response to naltrexone treatment: a haplotype-based approach.

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Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.



Individualized pharmacotherapy requires identification of genetic variants predictive of treatment response. In OPRM1, Asn40Asp has been reported to be predictive of response to naltrexone treatment. Nevertheless, the in vitro function of the polymorphism remains elusive and over 300 OPRM1 sequence variants have been identified to date. Therefore we used a haplotype-based approach to capture information of other genetic variants that might predict treatment response to naltrexone in the COMBINE Study.


5' nuclease genotyping assays (TaqMan) were applied for 10 SNPs. Five-locus haplotypes in 2 OPRM1 haplotype blocks were assigned to Caucasian participants. The relationship of the haplotypes to medication reflected by "good clinical outcome" was analyzed in 306 Caucasians treated without Combined Behavioral Intervention and with either naltrexone or placebo.


A significant haplotype by medication interaction (p = 0.03) was found in OPRM1 block 1. Naltrexone-treated alcoholics with haplotype AGCCC, the single haplotype carrying the Asp40 allele had the highest percent of good clinical outcome. When interaction of genotypes at each of the 5 loci comprising block 1 with medication was examined, only the Asn40/Asp40 and Asp40/Asp40 genotypes were found to significantly interact with naltrexone treatment. No haplotype by medication interaction was documented in OPRM1 block 2.


Our haplotype-based approach confirms that the single OPRM1 locus predictive of response to naltrexone treatment is Asn40Asp in exon 1. A substantial contribution of any other OPRM1 genetic variant to interindividual variations in response to naltrexone treatment (at least in terms of good clinical outcome) is not supported by our findings.

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