Indexed on: 03 May '05Published on: 03 May '05Published in: European Journal of Pain
It is well known that the response to painful stimuli varies between individuals and this could be consequence of individual differences to pain sensitivity that may be related to genetic factors. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of the enzymes that metabolize catecholamine neurotransmitters. Differences in the activity of COMT influence the functions of these neurotransmitters. A single nucleotide polymorphism (Val158Met) of COMT leads to a three to four fold reduction in the activity of the enzyme and has been associated to modifications in the response to a pain stressor. Neuropathic pain is a progressive nervous system disease due to an alteration of the peripheral or central nervous system. To elucidate the possible role of COMT polymorphism in the susceptibility to neuropathic pain, we have performed a case-control study in a Spanish population. Analysis of the (Val158Met) COMT polymorphism was performed by PCR amplification and DNA digestion with restriction enzymes. Our study concludes that functional Val158Met polymorphism of COMT gene is not associated to increased susceptibility to neuropathic pain.