The role of the OPRM1 gene polymorphism and its methylation in people in dependence on substances and with different intensity of pain

Original Article, Pol J Public Health, Vol. 132 (2022): 25-30

Łukasz Zadroga1,Elżbieta Grzywacz2,Maria Grzymkowska1,
Jolanta Chmielowiec3, Jolanta Masiak4, Aleksandra Strońska-Pluta5,
Anna Grzywacz5, Krzysztof Chmielowiec3

1 Student Scientific Club of Independent Laboratory of Health Promotion, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Poland
2 Student Scientific Club of Department of Oral Surgery, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Poland
3 Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Collegium Medicum, University of Zielona Góra, Poland
4 II Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
5 Independent Laboratory of Health Promotion, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Poland

DOI_disc_logo 10.2478/pjph-2022-0005

© 2022  Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (


Opioid receptors belong to the group of Gi and Go coupled receptors, inhibiting the activity of the neuron. Opioid receptors  regulate reward and aversion. The opioid system contributes to self and species survival by promoting reward elicited by natural  stimuli (such as food, sex and social interaction), regulating mood states and facilitating efficient coping with pain and stress.  It is suggested that OPRM1 polymorphism is associated with alcohol consumption especially increased in the case of G alleles  subjects than A-alleles homozygotes. In several studies, OPRM1 methylation was suspected to be predictive factor of opioid  dependence in pain treatment.  The relationship of postoperative or preoperative pain with methylation of some CpG sites in the OPRM1 promoter has also  been demonstrated. It is known that OPRM1 SNPs provide changes in the structure of the MOR receptor, so by confirming the  pharmacogenetic effects of OPRM1 polymorphisms and using these results to guide therapeutic decisions, patients can be prescribed  treatment options with the best efficacy and greatest tolerance. Pharmacogenomics of OPRM1 can improve pain management  by predicting individual response to pain medications before treatment and facilitate the development of new and more  effective pain medications for post-operative pain.

Keywords: polymorphism OPRM1, opioid receptor, alcohol dependence, analgesia, methylation.

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