The upstream Variable Number Tandem Repeat polymorphism of the monoamine oxidase type A gene influences trigeminal pain-related evoked responses

Cherubino di Lorenzo, Andrea Daverio, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Gianluca Coppola, Ioannis Giannoudas, Ylenia Barone, Gaetano S. Grieco, Cinzia Niolu, Esterina Pascale, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Francesco Pierelli, Alberto Siracusano, Stefano Seri, Giorgio di Lorenzo

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

Abstract

Monoamines have an important role in neural plasticity, a key factor in cortical pain processing that promotes changes in neuronal network connectivity. Monoamine oxidase type A (MAOA) is an enzyme that, due to its modulating role in monoaminergic activity, could play a role in cortical pain processing. The X-linked MAOA gene is characterized by an allelic variant of length, the MAOA upstream Variable Number Tandem Repeat (MAOA-uVNTR) region polymorphism. Two allelic variants of this gene are known, the high-activity MAOA (HAM) and low-activity MAOA (LAM). We investigated the role of MAOA-uVNTR in cortical pain processing in a group of healthy individuals measured by the trigeminal electric pain-related evoked potential (tPREP) elicited by repeated painful stimulation. A group of healthy volunteers was genotyped to detect MAOA-uVNTR polymorphism. Electrical tPREPs were recorded by stimulating the right supraorbital nerve with a concentric electrode. The N2 and P2 component amplitude and latency as well as the N2-P2 inter-peak amplitude were measured. The recording was divided into three blocks, each containing 10 consecutive stimuli and the N2-P2 amplitude was compared between blocks. Of the 67 volunteers, 37 were HAM and 30 were LAM. HAM subjects differed from LAM subjects in terms of amplitude of the grand-averaged and first-block N2-P2 responses (HAM>LAM). The N2-P2 amplitude decreased between the first and third block in HAM subjects but not LAM subjects. The MAOA-uVNTR polymorphism seemed to influence the brain response in a repeated tPREP paradigm and suggested a role of the MAOA as a modulator of neural plasticity related to cortical pain processing. Monoamines have an important role in neural plasticity, a key factor in cortical pain processing that promotes changes in neuronal network connectivity. Monoamine oxidase type A (MAOA) is an enzyme that, due to its modulating role in monoaminergic activity, could play a role in cortical pain processing. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-507
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume39
Issue number3
Early online date4 Feb 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2014

Keywords

  • habituation
  • human
  • monoamine
  • neural plasticity
  • pain-related evoked potential
  • sensitization

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    di Lorenzo, C., Daverio, A., Pasqualetti, P., Coppola, G., Giannoudas, I., Barone, Y., Grieco, G. S., Niolu, C., Pascale, E., Nicoletti, F., Pierelli, F., Siracusano, A., Seri, S., & di Lorenzo, G. (2014). The upstream Variable Number Tandem Repeat polymorphism of the monoamine oxidase type A gene influences trigeminal pain-related evoked responses. European Journal of Neuroscience, 39(3), 501-507. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.12458