Document Type



Medicine and Health Sciences


Objective The purpose of the present investigation was to determine if variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) genes is associated with pain-related positive affective regulation in fibromyalgia (FM). Design Forty-six female FM patients completed an electronic diary that included daily assessments of positive affect and pain. Between- and within-person analyses were conducted with multilevel modeling. Main Outcome Measure Daily positive affect was the primary outcome measure. Results Analyses revealed a significant gene × experience interaction for COMT, such that individuals with met/met genotype experienced a greater decline in positive affect on days when pain was elevated than did either val/met or val/val individuals. This finding supports a role for catecholamines in positive affective reactivity to FM pain. A gene × experience interaction for OPRM1 also emerged, indicating that individuals with at least one asp40 allele maintained greater positive affect despite elevations in daily pain than those homozygous for the asn40 allele. This finding may be explained by the asp40 allele’s role in reward processing. Conclusions Together, the findings offer researchers ample reason to further investigate the contribution of the catecholamine and opioid systems, and their associated genomic variants, to the still poorly understood experience of FM.


Health Psychol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 November 10. Published in final edited form as: Health Psychol. 2010 March; 29(2): 134–142. doi: 10.1037/a0018647 PMCID: PMC3212833 NIHMSID: NIHMS317916