, 201:611

A mu opioid receptor gene polymorphism (A118G) and naltrexone treatment response in adherent Korean alcohol-dependent patients


    • Department of PsychiatrySchool of Medicine, Pusan National University
  • Cheol-Min Kim
    • Haein Hospital
  • Sam-Wook Choi
    • Department of PsychiatryCollege of Medicine, University of Ulsan
  • Young-Myo Jae
    • Department of PsychiatryBongseng Memorial Hospital
  • Hae-Gook Lee
    • Department of PsychiatryCollege of Medicine, The Catholic University
  • Bong-Ki Son
    • Department of PsychiatryHallym University Medical Center, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital
  • Jeong-Gee Kim
    • Department of PsychiatryMaryknoll General Hospital
  • Young-Sung Choi
    • St. Andrew’s Neuropsychiatric Hospital
  • Han-Oh Kim
    • Keyo Medical FoundationKeyo Hospital
  • Seong-Yeon Kim
    • Division of Management Information ScienceDong-A University
  • David W. Oslin
    • Department of Psychiatry, University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia VA Medical Center and VISN 4 MIRECC
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-008-1330-5

Cite this article as:
Kim, S., Kim, C., Choi, S. et al. Psychopharmacology (2009) 201: 611. doi:10.1007/s00213-008-1330-5



Previous studies have demonstrated an association between genetic polymorphisms of the μ opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) and response to naltrexone treatment. The Asp40 variant genotype previously shown to be associated with naltrexone treatment response is known to be relatively common among Koreans.


This study was conducted to prospectively investigate the relationship between genotype and response to open-label naltrexone treatment in Korean alcohol-dependent subjects.

Materials and methods

Sixty-three alcohol-dependent subjects were prescribed naltrexone for 12 weeks in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy. Thirty-two subjects were adherent, taking the medication at least 80% of the treatment days [16 Asn40 (A/A) patients and 16 Asp40 variant (A/G or G/G) patients].


Subjects adherent to naltrexone treatment with one or two copies of the Asp40 allele took a significantly longer time than the Asn40 group to relapse (p = 0.014). Although not significant, the Asn40 group treated with naltrexone had a 10.6 times greater relapse rate than the Asp40 variant group. There was no significant difference between the Asn40 group and the Asp40 variant group treated with naltrexone in rates of abstinence.


These results demonstrating a higher therapeutic effect of naltrexone in Korean alcohol-dependent individuals with the Asp40 variant genotype than the Asn40 genotype are consistent with previous study results in individuals of European descent. This is the first study to examine the pharmacogenetics treatment response to naltrexone in non-European subjects.


Naltrexone Mu opioid receptor Polymorphism Korean alcohol dependent

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008