Objective: In Parkinson disease (PD), the selective C-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor entacapone prolongs the effect of levodopa on motor symptoms (ON time) by increasing its bioavailability. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism is equally distributed in PD patients and modulates COMT activity, which can be high (Val/Val, COMT(HH) ), intermediate (Val/Met, COMT(HL) ), or low (Met/Met, COMT(LL) ). The objective of this study was to determine the response to entacapone in COMT(HH) and COMT(LL) PD patients.
Methods: Thirty-three PD patients, homozygous for the COMT alleles COMT(HH) (n = 17) and COMT(LL) (n = 16), were randomized in a double-blind crossover trial consisting of 2 successive acute levodopa challenges associated with 200mg entacapone or placebo. The primary endpoint was the gain in the best ON time. Secondary endpoints were levodopa pharmacokinetics and COMT activity in red blood cells.
Results: The gain in the best ON time was higher in COMT(HH) than in COMT(LL) patients (39 ± 10 vs 9 ± 9 minutes, p = 0.04, interaction between treatment and genotype). Area under the concentration over time curve of levodopa increased more after entacapone in COMT(HH) than in COMT(LL) patients (+62 ± 6% vs +34 ± 8%, p = 0.01). COMT inhibition by entacapone was higher in COMT(HH) than in COMT(LL) patients (-0.54 ± 0.07 vs -0.31 ± 0.06 pmol/min/mg protein, p = 0.02).
Interpretation: The COMT(HH) genotype in PD patients enhances the effect of entacapone on the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of levodopa. The response to entacapone after repeated administrations and in heterozygous patients remains to be determined.
Copyright © 2010 American Neurological Association.