Dopaminergic neurotransmission and genetic variation in chronification of post-surgical pain

Roel R. I. van Reij*, Elbert A. J. Joosten, Nynke J. van den Hoogen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Chronic post-surgical pain (CPSP) is a debilitating condition affecting 10-50% of surgical patients. The current treatment strategy for CPSP is not optimal, and the identification of genetic variation in surgical patients might help to improve prediction and treatment of CPSP. The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) has been associated with several chronic pain disorders. This narrative review focuses on DA neurotransmission as a potential target in the treatment of CPSP. The current knowledge on genetic variation within DA neurotransmission and its role in CPSP susceptibility are reviewed. Three genes involved in DA neurotransmission (COMT, GCH1, and DRD2) have been associated with variability in pain sensitivity, development of CPSP, and analgesic requirement. The direction of the effect of the association is sometimes inconclusive because of contradictory results, but ample evidence suggests a modulatory role of DA. Because of this modulatory role, DA is an excellent pharmacological target in the treatment of pain. Pharmacotherapy focused on DA neurotransmission has potential in both prevention (via D1-like receptors) and treatment (via D2-like receptors and DA reuptake inhibitors) of CPSP. The development of prediction models including genetic risk factors is necessary to better identify patients at risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-864
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Volume123
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • chronic post-surgical pain
  • dopamine
  • pain sensitivity
  • pharmacology
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms
  • CATECHOL-O-METHYLTRANSFERASE
  • SUBSTANTIA-GELATINOSA NEURONS
  • RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME
  • POSTOPERATIVE PAIN
  • SPINAL-CORD
  • PARKINSONS-DISEASE
  • IN-VIVO
  • NEUROPATHIC PAIN
  • COMT GENE
  • RAT MODEL

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