The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is associated with the functional connectivity dynamics of pain modulatory systems in primary dysmenorrhea

Shyh Yuh Wei, Hsiang Tai Chao, Cheng Hao Tu, Ming-Wei Lin, Wei Chi Li, Intan Low, Horng Der Shen, Li-Fen Chen, Jen-Chuen Hsieh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Primary dysmenorrhea (PDM), menstrual pain without an organic cause, is a prevailing problem in women of reproductive age. We previously reported alterations of structure and functional connectivity (FC) in the periaqueductal gray (PAG) of PDM subjects. Given that the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) acts as a pain modulator within the PAG and the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism contributes towards susceptibility to PDM, the present study of imaging genetics set out to investigate the influence of, firstly, the BDNF Val66Met single nucleotide polymorphism and, secondly, the genotype-pain interplays on the descending pain modulatory systems in the context of PAG-seeded FC patterning. Fifty-six subjects with PDM and 60 controls participated in the current study of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during the menstruation and peri-ovulatory phases; in parallel, blood samples were taken for genotyping. Our findings indicate that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is associated with the diverse functional expressions of the descending pain modulatory systems. Furthermore, PAG FC patterns in pain-free controls are altered in women with PDM in a genotype-specific manner. Such resilient brain dynamics may underpin the individual differences and shed light on the vulnerability for chronic pain disorders of PDM subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23639
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2016

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