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Heterozygous mutations in GTP-cyclohydrolase-1 reduce BH4 biosynthesis but not pain sensitivity

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Arafat Nasser, Anette Torvin Møller, Vibe Hellmund, Sidsel Salling Thorborg, Cathrine Jespersgaard, Ole J. Bjerrum, Erik Dupontd, Gösta Nachman, Jens Lykkesfeldt, Troels Staehelin Jensen, Lisbeth Birk Møller

Human studies have demonstrated a correlation between noncoding polymorphisms of "the pain protective" haplotype in the GCH1 gene that encodes for GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH1)-which leads to reduced tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) production in cell systems-and a diminished perception of experimental and clinical pain. Here, we investigate whether heterozygous mutations in the GCH1 gene which lead to a profound BH4 reduction in patients with dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD) have any effect on pain sensitivity. The study includes an investigation of GCH1-associated biomarkers and pain sensitivity in a cohort of 22 patients with DRD and 36 controls. The patients with DRD had, when compared with controls, significantly reduced levels of BH4, neopterin, biopterin, and GTPCH1 in their urine, blood, or cytokine-stimulated fibroblasts, but their pain response with respect to non-painful stimulation, (acute) stimulus-evoked pain, or pain response after capsaicin-induced sensitization was not significantly different. A family-specific cohort of 11 patients with DRD and 11 controls were included in this study. The patients with DRD were heterozygous for the pain protective haplotype in cis with the GCH1 disease-causing mutation, c.899T.C. No effect on pain perception was observed for this combined haplotype. In conclusion, a reduced concentration of BH4 is not sufficient to alter ongoing pain sensitivity or evoked pain responses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPain
Volume159
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1012-1024
Number of pages13
ISSN0304-3959
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Capsaicin, DOPA-responsive dystonia, GCH1, GTP cyclohydrolase 1, GTPCH, Pain, Tetrahydrobiopterin

ID: 202033947