Polymorphism A118G of opioid receptor mu 1 (OPRM1) is associated with emergence of suicidal ideation at antidepressant onset in a large naturalistic cohort of depressed outpatients

Antidepressants have been the object of an international controversy for about thirty years. Some patients are inclined to develop suicidal ideation (SI) at antidepressant onset; this phenomenon is known as Treatment Emergent Suicidal Ideation (TESI), and it has conducted regulatory bodies to prompt warnings on antidepressants. Since, few studies have explored the pharmacogenomics of TESI. Given the growing body of evidence connecting the opioidergic system with suicidal behavior (particularly mu opioid receptor (MOR)), we decided to examine the relationship between two genetic polymorphisms (SNPs) in the opioidergic system and TESI in a sample of 3566 adult depressed outpatients. General practitioners and psychiatrists throughout France followed participants for 6 weeks after an initial prescription of tianeptine, an antidepressant treatment with mu agonism. Suicidal ideation was assessed with the item 10 of the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (item dedicated to SI) at baseline, and after 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 6 weeks. We analysed rs1799971 from the OPRM1 gene and rs105660 from the OPRK1 gene. Within the sample, 112 patients reported TESI while 384 did not. We found a significant association between AA genotype of rs1799971 and TESI even after adjustment for potential cofounders (OR = 1.93, 95% CI = [1.07; 3.49]; p-value = 0.03). On the other hand there were no significant association between rs1799971 and rs105560 with worsening of suicidal ideation or lifetime suicide attempts. Nevertheless, our results suggest a possible involvement of opioidergic system in TESI.

  • Nobile B
  • Ramoz N
  • Jaussent I
  • Gorwood P
  • Olie E
  • Castroman J L
  • Guillaume S
  • Courtet P


  • Sci Rep
Feb 22;9(1):2569