Look beyond Catechol-O-Methyltransferase genotype for cathecolamines derangement in migraine: the BioBIM rs4818 and rs4680 polymorphisms study

Maria Laura De Marchis, Piero Barbanti, Raffaele Palmirotta, Gabriella Egeo, Cinzia Aurilia, Luisa Fofi, Serena Piroso, Cristiano Ialongo, David Della-Morte, Giovanni D’Andrea, Patrizia Ferroni, Fiorella Guadagni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The study of COMT gene polymorphisms in migraine could be of particular interest since impaired catecholaminergic neurotransmission, namely chronic dopaminergic and noradrenergic hypofunction, is a peculiar migraine trait. In this study, for the first time, we focused on the role of COMT rs4818 genetic variant, the polymorphism most strongly affecting COMT activity, in migraine. This study was conducted in a cohort of carefully clinical characterized Caucasian migraineurs recruited in a specifically dedicated migraine biobank, providing also a replication study on rs4680 polymorphism. Findings: Genotyping of rs4680 and rs4818 Catechol-O-Methyltransferase gene polymorphisms was performed on 380 unrelated migraine patients, and 132 healthy subjects matched for age, gender and race-ethnicity, with no clinical evidence or family history of migraine or other neurological diseases. The rs4680 and rs4818 genotypic frequencies did not deviate from those expected for a population in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and did not correlate with demographics or clinical migraine features, even when considering migraine subtypes such as dopaminergic migraine, menstrual migraine, and menstrually related migraine. Conclusions: COMT genotype does not influence migraine susceptibility or phenotype, even considering rs4818 polymorphism and peculiar clinical subtypes. This finding prompts to go over COMT to explain catecholamine derangement in migraine, exploring enzymes involved in catecholamines synthesis and catabolism, such as monoamine-oxidase, dopamine beta-hydroxylase, tyrosine-hydroxylase or tyrosine-decarboxylase, among others.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015



  • Catecholamines
  • COMT
  • Disability
  • Genetics
  • Migraine
  • Polymorphism
  • SNP
  • Val 158 Met

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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