Potential genetic risk factors for chronic TMD: Genetic Associations from the OPPERA case control study

Shad B. Smith, Dylan W. Maixner, Joel D. Greenspan, Ronald Dubner, Roger B. Fillingim, Richard Ohrbach, Charles Knott, Gary D. Slade, Eric Bair, Dustin G. Gibson, Dmitri V. Zaykin, Bruce S. Weir, William Maixner, Luda Diatchenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Genetic factors play a role in the etiology of persistent pain conditions, putatively by modulating underlying processes such as nociceptive sensitivity, psychological well-being, inflammation, and autonomic response. However, to date, only a few genes have been associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMD). This study evaluated 358 genes involved in pain processes, comparing allelic frequencies between 166 cases with chronic TMD and 1,442 controls enrolled in the OPPERA (Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment) study cooperative agreement. To enhance statistical power, 182 TMD cases and 170 controls from a similar study were included in the analysis. Genotyping was performed using the Pain Research Panel, an Affymetrix gene chip representing 3,295 single nucleotide polymorphisms, including ancestry-informative markers that were used to adjust for population stratification. Adjusted associations between genetic markers and TMD case status were evaluated using logistic regression. The OPPERA findings provided evidence supporting previously reported associations between TMD and 2 genes: HTR2A and COMT. Other genes were revealed as potential new genetic risk factors for TMD, including NR3C1, CAMK4, CHRM2, IFRD1, and GRK5. While these findings need to be replicated in independent cohorts, the genes potentially represent important markers of risk for TMD, and they identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Perspective: Genetic risk factors for TMD pain were explored in the case-control component of the OPPERA cooperative agreement, a large population-based prospective cohort study. Over 350 candidate pain genes were assessed using a candidate gene panel, with several genes displaying preliminary evidence for association with TMD status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)T92-T101
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number11 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • CAMK4
  • CHRM2
  • COMT
  • GRK5
  • HTR2A
  • IFRD1
  • NR3C1
  • Pain genetics
  • association study
  • temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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