Genetic variation in the behavioral effects of buprenorphine in female mice derived from a murine model of the OPRM1 A118G polymorphism

Caroline A. Browne*, Rebecca L. Erickson, Julie A. Blendy, Irwin Lucki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Pharmacogenetic studies have identified the non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (A118G) in the human mu opioid receptor (MOR) gene (OPRM1) as a critical genetic variant capable of altering the efficacy of opioid therapeutics. To date few studies have explored the potential impact of the OPRM1 A118G polymorphism on the pharmacological effects of buprenorphine (BPN), a potent MOR partial agonist and kappa opioid receptor antagonist, which is approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid addiction and chronic pain. The goal of these studies was to determine whether the MOR-mediated behavioral effects of BPN were altered in the Oprm1 A112G mouse model of the human OPRM1 A118G SNP. All studies were conducted in female, AA, AG and GG mice. BPN's maximal analgesic effect in the hot plate test was significantly blunted in AG and GG mice compared to wild type AA mice. Similarly, the BPN-induced reduction of latency to consume food in the novelty induced hypophagia test was blocked entirely in AG and GG mice compared to their AA littermates. In addition, GG mice exhibited marked reductions in psychostimulant hyperlocomotor activity compared to the AA group. In contrast, reduced immobility in the forced swim test, an effect of BPN mediated by kappa opioid receptors, was not affected by genotype. These studies demonstrate the ability of the Oprm1 A112G SNP to attenuate the analgesic, anxiolytic and hyperlocomotor effects of BPN. Overall, these data suggest that the OPRM1 A118G SNP will significantly impact the clinical efficacy of BPN in its therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-407
Number of pages7
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Analgesia
  • Anxiety
  • Buprenorphine hydrochloride (PubChem CID: 441364)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (PubChem CID: 2712)
  • Mu opioid receptor
  • Oprm1 A112G

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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