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1.  Rescue treatment with a Rho-kinase inhibitor normalizes right ventricular function and reverses remodeling in juvenile rats with chronic pulmonary hypertension 
Chronic pulmonary hypertension in infancy and childhood is characterized by a fixed and progressive increase in pulmonary arterial pressure and resistance, pulmonary arterial remodeling, and right ventricular hypertrophy and systolic dysfunction. These abnormalities are replicated in neonatal rats chronically exposed to hypoxia from birth in which increased activity of Rho-kinase (ROCK) is critical to injury, as evidenced by preventive effects of ROCK inhibitors. Our objective in the present study was to examine the reversing effects of a late or rescue approach to treatment with a ROCK inhibitor on the pulmonary and cardiac manifestations of established chronic hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. Rat pups were exposed to air or hypoxia (13% O2) from postnatal day 1 and were treated with Y-27632 (15 mg/kg) or saline vehicle by twice daily subcutaneous injection commencing on day 14, for up to 7 days. Treatment with Y-27632 significantly attenuated right ventricular hypertrophy, reversed arterial wall remodeling, and completely normalized right ventricular systolic function in hypoxia-exposed animals. Reversal of arterial wall remodeling was accompanied by increased apoptosis and attenuated content of endothelin (ET)-1 and ETA receptors. Treatment of primary cultured juvenile rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells with Y-27632 attenuated serum-stimulated ROCK activity and proliferation and increased apoptosis. Smooth muscle apoptosis was also induced by short interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of ROCK-II, but not of ROCK-I. We conclude that sustained rescue treatment with a ROCK inhibitor reversed both the hemodynamic and structural abnormalities of chronic hypoxic pulmonary hypertension in juvenile rats and normalized right ventricular systolic function. Attenuated expression and activity of ET-1 and its A-type receptor on pulmonary arterial smooth muscle was a likely contributor to the stimulatory effects of ROCK inhibition on apoptosis. In addition, our data suggest that ROCK-II may be dominant in enhancing survival of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle.
PMCID: PMC5145304  PMID: 20889845 CAMSID: cams1592
hypoxia; endothelin-1; apoptosis; smooth muscle cells
3.  Passive exposure to electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use increases desire for combustible and e-cigarettes in young adult smokers 
Tobacco control  2014;24(5):501-504.
Passive exposure to combustible cigarette use has been shown to act as a cue to increase smoking urge. Given the resemblance of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) to combustible cigarettes, we examined whether these devices could also act as a cue to increase smoking desire and urges in those passively exposed.
Young adult daily smokers (age 18–35 years; N=60) completed subjective ratings before and after exposure to a study confederate drinking bottled water (control cue) and then smoking either a combustible or e-cigarette (active cue). Smoking desire and urge ratings were measured with visual analogue scale items for desire for a regular and an e-cigarette and the Brief Questionnaire of Smoking Urges.
Passive exposure to both the e-cigarette and combustible cigarette cue significantly increased observers’ ratings of desire and urge to smoke a regular cigarette (all ps<0.05). Exposure to the e-cigarette cue but not the regular cigarette cue also increased desire to smoke an e-cigarette (p<0.01).
The results provide the first evidence in a controlled setting that electronic cigarette exposure may evoke smoking urges in young adult daily smokers. With replication, these findings may have relevance for ENDS regulation and policy.
PMCID: PMC4992990  PMID: 24848637
4.  Exposure to Electronic Nicotine Delivery Device (ENDS) Visual Imagery Increases Smoking Urge and Desire 
Use and awareness of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS; also known as electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes) has increased rapidly in recent years, particularly among young adults. As use of ENDS resembles traditional smoking in both hand to mouth movements and inhalation and exhalation behaviors, we determined whether exposure to e-cigarette use via video exposure would act as a cue to elicit urge and desire for a combustible cigarette. Young adult smokers (mean age 26.3 ± 4.1 years) were randomized to view a brief video montage of advertisements depicting either e-cigarette vaping (n = 38) or bottled water drinking (n = 40). Pre- and post-cue exposure assessments were conducted in a controlled laboratory setting without other smoking or vaping cues present or behaviors allowed. Primary outcomes included change from pre-exposure baseline in smoking urge (Brief Questionnaire of Smoking Urges) and desire for a combustible and e-cigarette (visual analogue scales). Results showed that relative to exposure to the bottled water video, exposure to the ENDS video significantly increased smoking urge (p < 0.001) as well as desire for a regular cigarette (p < 0.05) and an e-cigarette (p < 0.001). These findings provide preliminary evidence that passive exposure to video imagery of ENDS use may generalize as a condition cue and evoke urges for a combustible cigarette in young adult smokers. It remains to be determined whether such increases in urge and desire correspond to increases in actual smoking behavior.
PMCID: PMC4752431  PMID: 26618797
ENDS; Electronic Cigarettes (E-Cigarettes); Smoking Cues; Cue Reactivity; Urge
5.  The impact of triclosan on the spread of antibiotic resistance in the environment 
Triclosan (TCS) is a commonly used antimicrobial agent that enters wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and the environment. An estimated 1.1 × 105 to 4.2 × 105 kg of TCS are discharged from these WWTPs per year in the United States. The abundance of TCS along with its antimicrobial properties have given rise to concern regarding its impact on antibiotic resistance in the environment. The objective of this review is to assess the state of knowledge regarding the impact of TCS on multidrug resistance in environmental settings, including engineered environments such as anaerobic digesters. Pure culture studies are reviewed in this paper to gain insight into the substantially smaller body of research surrounding the impacts of TCS on environmental microbial communities. Pure culture studies, mainly on pathogenic strains of bacteria, demonstrate that TCS is often associated with multidrug resistance. Research is lacking to quantify the current impacts of TCS discharge to the environment, but it is known that resistance to TCS and multidrug resistance can increase in environmental microbial communities exposed to TCS. Research plans are proposed to quantitatively define the conditions under which TCS selects for multidrug resistance in the environment.
PMCID: PMC4295542  PMID: 25642217
triclosan; antimicrobial resistance; antibiotic resistance; biosolids; wastewater
6.  Rewarding, Stimulant, and Sedative Alcohol Responses and Relationship to Future Binge Drinking 
Archives of general psychiatry  2011;68(4):389-399.
Excessive consumption of alcohol is a major problem in the United States and abroad. Despite many years of study, it is unclear why some individuals drink alcohol excessively while others do not. It has been postulated that either lower or greater acute responses to alcohol, or both, depending on the limb of the breath alcohol concentration curve, contribute to propensity for alcohol misuse.
To prospectively assess the relationship of acute alcohol responses to future binge drinking.
Within-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multidose laboratory alcohol challenge study with intensive follow-up. Each participant completed 3 randomized sessions examining responses to a high (0.8 g/kg) and low (0.4 g/kg) alcohol dose and placebo, followed by quarterly assessments for 2 years examining drinking behaviors and alcohol diagnoses.
Participants recruited from the community.
High-risk heavy social drinkers aged 21 to 35 years who habitually engage in weekly binge drinking (n=104) and light drinker controls (n=86).
We conducted 570 laboratory sessions with a subsequent 99.1% follow-up (1506 of 1520).
Main Outcome Measures
Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale, Drug Effects Questionnaire, cortisol response, Time-line Follow-Back, Drinker Inventory of Consequences–Recent, and DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence.
Alcohol produced greater stimulant and rewarding (liking and wanting) responses and lower sedative and cortisol responses in heavy vs light drinkers. Among the heavy drinkers, greater positive effects and lower sedative effects after alcohol consumption predicted increased binge drinking frequency during follow-up. In turn, greater frequency of binge drinking during follow-up was associated with greater likelihood of meeting diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence.
The widely held low level response theory and differentiator model should be revised: in high-risk drinkers, stimulant and rewarding alcohol responses even at peak breath alcohol concentrations are important predictors of future alcohol problems.
Trial Registration Identifier: NCT00961792
PMCID: PMC4633413  PMID: 21464363
7.  Preferential cephalic redistribution of left ventricular cardiac output during therapeutic hypothermia for perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy 
The Journal of pediatrics  2014;164(5):999-1004.e1.
To determine the relationship between left ventricular cardiac output (LVCO), superior vena cava (SVC) flow, and brain injury during whole-body therapeutic hypothermia.
Study design
Sixteen newborns with moderate or severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy were studied using echocardiography during and immediately after therapeutic hypothermia. Measures were also compared with 12 healthy newborns of similar postnatal age. Newborns undergoing therapeutic hypothermia also had a cerebral magnetic resonance imaging as part of routine clinical care on postnatal day 3–4.
LVCO was markedly reduced (mean+/−SD: 126+/−38 mL/kg/min) during therapeutic hypothermia, whereas SVC flow was maintained within expected normal values (88+/− 27 mL/kg/min) such that it represented 70% of the LVCO. The reduction in LVCO during therapeutic hypothermia was mainly accounted by a reduction in heart rate (99 +/− 13 BPM versus 123 +/− 17 BPM; p<0.001) compared to immediately post-warming, in the context of myocardial dysfunction. Neonates with documented brain injury on MRI showed higher SVC flow pre-rewarming, compared to newborns without brain injury (p=0.013).
Newborns with perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy showed a preferential systemic-to cerebral redistribution of cardiac blood flow during whole-body therapeutic hypothermia, which may reflect a lack of cerebral vascular adaptation in newborns with more severe brain injury.
PMCID: PMC4623763  PMID: 24582011 CAMSID: cams5027
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE); Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); Superior vena cava flow; Newborn; Perinatal asphyxia; Echocardiography
8.  A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Use of Oral Glucose with or without Gentle Facilitated Tucking of Infants during Neonatal Echocardiography 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(10):e0141015.
To compare the effect of oral glucose given with or without facilitated tucking (FT), versus placebo (water) to facilitate image acquisition during a targeted neonatal echocardiography (TNE).
Factorial, double blind, randomized controlled trial.
Tertiary neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Infants born between 26 and 42 weeks of gestation (GA).
One of four treatment groups: oral water (placebo), oral glucose (25%), facilitated tucking with oral water or facilitated tucking with oral glucose, during a single, structured TNE. All infants received a soother.
Main Outcome Measure
Change in Behavioral Indicators of Infant Pain (BIIP) scores.
104 preterm infants were randomized (mean ± SD GA: 33.4 ± 3.5 weeks). BIIP scores remained low during the echocardiography scan (median, [IQ range]: 0, [0 to 1]). There were no differences in the level of agitation of infants amongst the treatment groups, with estimated reductions in mean BIIP relative to control of 0.27 (95%CI -0.40 to 0.94) with use of oral glucose and .04 (-0.63 to 0.70) with facilitated tucking. There were also no differences between treatment groups in the quality and duration of the echocardiography scans.
In stable infants in the NICU, a TNE can be performed with minimal disruption in a majority of cases, simply by providing a soother. The use of 25% glucose water in this context did not provide further benefit in reducing agitation and improving image acquisition.
Clinical Trial Registration
Clinical NCT01253889
PMCID: PMC4619855  PMID: 26496361
9.  Low Cardiac Output Secondary to a Malpositioned Umbilical Venous Catheter: Value of Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography 
AJP Reports  2014;4(1):23-28.
Systemic hypotension is common in very low birthweight preterm infants but the nature of the precipitating cause may be unclear. Targeted neonatal echocardiography (TnEcho) is being increasingly used to support hemodynamic decisions in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), including identifying impairments in the transitional circulation of preterm infants, providing timely re-evaluation after institution of therapies and evaluating the placement of indwelling catheters. We present a case of a preterm infant with systemic hypotension and low cardiac output secondary to a large transatrial shunt induced by a malpositioned umbilical venous catheter. Repositioning of the line led to resolution of the hemodynamic disturbance and clinical instability, highlighting the utility of TnEcho in the NICU.
PMCID: PMC4078164  PMID: 25032055
targeted neonatal echocardiography; umbilical venous catheter; low cardiac output; atrial septal defect
10.  N-Terminal Pro-B Type Natriuretic Peptide as a Marker of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia or Death in Very Preterm Neonates: A Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(10):e0140079.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a serious complication of preterm birth. Plasma N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) has been suggested as a marker that may predict BPD within a few days after birth.
To investigate the association between NT-proBNP day three and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) or death and further to assess the impact of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) on this association in neonates born before 32 gestational weeks.
A cohort study of 183 neonates born before 32 gestational weeks consecutively admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. On day three plasma samples were collected and echocardiography carried out. NT-proBNP was measured by routine immunoassays. The combined outcome BPD or death was assessed at 36 weeks of postmenstrual age. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to determine the discrimination ability of NT-proBNP by the natural log continuous measure to recognize BPD or death. The association of BPD or death was assessed in relation to natural log NT-proBNP levels day three.
The risk of BPD or death increased 1.7-fold with one unit increase of natural log NT-proBNP day three when adjusted for gestational age at birth (OR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.3; 2.3). The association was found both in neonates with and without a PDA. Adjusting for GA, PDA diameter, LA:Ao-ratio, or early onset sepsis did not change the estimate.
We found NT-proBNP to be associated with BPD or death in very preterm neonates. This association was not only explained by the PDA. We speculate that NT-proBNP may help the identification of neonates at risk of BPD as early as postnatal day three.
PMCID: PMC4599729  PMID: 26452045
11.  Towards rational management of the patent ductus arteriosus: the need for disease staging 
Perspective on the review by Bose and Laughon (see page 498)
PMCID: PMC2675381  PMID: 17951547
ductal ligation; indometacin; patent ductus arteriosus; staging
12.  Patent Ductus Arteriosus Ligation and Adverse Outcomes: Causality or Bias? 
Observational studies have associated patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) ligation in preterm infants with increased chronic lung disease (CLD), retinopathy of prematurity, and neurodevelopmental impairment at long-term follow-up. Although the biological rationale for this association is incompletely understood, there is an emerging secular trend toward a permissive approach to the PDA. However, insufficient adjustment for postnatal, pre-ligation confounders, such as intraventricular hemorrhage and the duration and intensity of mechanical ventilation, suggests the presence of residual bias due to confounding by indication, and obliges caution in interpreting the ligation-morbidity relationship. A period of conservative management after failure of medical PDA closure may be considered to reduce the number of infants treated with surgery. Increased mortality and CLD in infants with persistent symptomatic PDA suggests that surgical ligation remains an important treatment modality for preterm infants.
PMCID: PMC4089132  PMID: 25024972
Chronic lung disease; confounding by indication; conservative; mortality; neurodevelopmental impairment; neurosensory impairment; preterm; retinopathy of prematurity
13.  The Effect of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate, Exposure Time, and Chemical Mixtures on Methanogenic Community Structure and Function 
Microbiology Insights  2015;8(Suppl 2):1-7.
A plethora of organic micropollutant mixtures are found in untreated municipal wastewater. Anaerobic digesters receive large loadings of hydrophobic micropollutants that sorb to wastewater biosolids. Despite micropollutants being pervasive as mixtures, little research is available to explain the impact that mixtures of compounds, as well as exposure time, have on microbial communities in anaerobic digesters. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was added to anaerobic enrichment cultures in both short-term (14 days) and long-term (140 days) studies to determine the impact of exposure time. Additionally, triclosan was added during the experiments to investigate the impact of mixtures on community structure and function. PFOS did not alter methane production in short-term studies, but in long-term studies, methane production increased, consistent with our hypothesis that PFOS may act as a metabolic uncoupler. The impact of triclosan on methane production was exacerbated when PFOS was already present in the anaerobic enrichment cultures. Triclosan also had greater impacts on microbial community structures in the bottles that had been exposed to PFOS long-term. These results demonstrate that both chemical mixtures and exposure time are important parameters to address when trying to define the impacts of micropollutants on anaerobic microbial communities.
PMCID: PMC4589087  PMID: 26462249
micropollutants; triclosan; perfluorooctane sulfonate; anaerobic digestion; emerging contaminants; biogas
14.  Setting research priorities to improve global newborn health and prevent stillbirths by 2025 
Yoshida, Sachiyo | Martines, José | Lawn, Joy E | Wall, Stephen | Souza, Joăo Paulo | Rudan, Igor | Cousens, Simon | Aaby, Peter | Adam, Ishag | Adhikari, Ramesh Kant | Ambalavanan, Namasivayam | Arifeen, Shams EI | Aryal, Dhana Raj | Asiruddin, Sk | Baqui, Abdullah | Barros, Aluisio JD | Benn, Christine S | Bhandari, Vineet | Bhatnagar, Shinjini | Bhattacharya, Sohinee | Bhutta, Zulfiqar A | Black, Robert E | Blencowe, Hannah | Bose, Carl | Brown, Justin | Bührer, Christoph | Carlo, Wally | Cecatti, Jose Guilherme | Cheung, Po–Yin | Clark, Robert | Colbourn, Tim | Conde–Agudelo, Agustin | Corbett, Erica | Czeizel, Andrew E | Das, Abhik | Day, Louise Tina | Deal, Carolyn | Deorari, Ashok | Dilmen, Uğur | English, Mike | Engmann, Cyril | Esamai, Fabian | Fall, Caroline | Ferriero, Donna M | Gisore, Peter | Hazir, Tabish | Higgins, Rosemary D | Homer, Caroline SE | Hoque, DE | Irgens, Lorentz | Islam, MT | de Graft–Johnson, Joseph | Joshua, Martias Alice | Keenan, William | Khatoon, Soofia | Kieler, Helle | Kramer, Michael S | Lackritz, Eve M | Lavender, Tina | Lawintono, Laurensia | Luhanga, Richard | Marsh, David | McMillan, Douglas | McNamara, Patrick J | Mol, Ben Willem J | Molyneux, Elizabeth | Mukasa, G. K | Mutabazi, Miriam | Nacul, Luis Carlos | Nakakeeto, Margaret | Narayanan, Indira | Olusanya, Bolajoko | Osrin, David | Paul, Vinod | Poets, Christian | Reddy, Uma M | Santosham, Mathuram | Sayed, Rubayet | Schlabritz–Loutsevitch, Natalia E | Singhal, Nalini | Smith, Mary Alice | Smith, Peter G | Soofi, Sajid | Spong, Catherine Y | Sultana, Shahin | Tshefu, Antoinette | van Bel, Frank | Gray, Lauren Vestewig | Waiswa, Peter | Wang, Wei | Williams, Sarah LA | Wright, Linda | Zaidi, Anita | Zhang, Yanfeng | Zhong, Nanbert | Zuniga, Isabel | Bahl, Rajiv
Journal of Global Health  null;6(1):010508.
In 2013, an estimated 2.8 million newborns died and 2.7 million were stillborn. A much greater number suffer from long term impairment associated with preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, congenital anomalies, and perinatal or infectious causes. With the approaching deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, there was a need to set the new research priorities on newborns and stillbirth with a focus not only on survival but also on health, growth and development. We therefore carried out a systematic exercise to set newborn health research priorities for 2013–2025.
We used adapted Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) methods for this prioritization exercise. We identified and approached the 200 most productive researchers and 400 program experts, and 132 of them submitted research questions online. These were collated into a set of 205 research questions, sent for scoring to the 600 identified experts, and were assessed and scored by 91 experts.
Nine out of top ten identified priorities were in the domain of research on improving delivery of known interventions, with simplified neonatal resuscitation program and clinical algorithms and improved skills of community health workers leading the list. The top 10 priorities in the domain of development were led by ideas on improved Kangaroo Mother Care at community level, how to improve the accuracy of diagnosis by community health workers, and perinatal audits. The 10 leading priorities for discovery research focused on stable surfactant with novel modes of administration for preterm babies, ability to diagnose fetal distress and novel tocolytic agents to delay or stop preterm labour.
These findings will assist both donors and researchers in supporting and conducting research to close the knowledge gaps for reducing neonatal mortality, morbidity and long term impairment. WHO, SNL and other partners will work to generate interest among key national stakeholders, governments, NGOs, and research institutes in these priorities, while encouraging research funders to support them. We will track research funding, relevant requests for proposals and trial registers to monitor if the priorities identified by this exercise are being addressed.
PMCID: PMC4576458  PMID: 26401272
15.  Alcohol Challenge Responses Predict Future Alcohol Use Disorder Symptoms: A 6-Year Prospective Study 
Biological psychiatry  2013;75(10):798-806.
Propensity for alcohol misuse may be linked to an individuals’ response to alcohol. This study examined the role of alcohol response phenotypes to future drinking problems.
One hundred four young heavy social drinkers participated in a within-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled laboratory alcohol challenge study with 6-year follow-up. Participants were examined for subjective responses before and after receiving an intoxicating dose of alcohol (.8 g/kg) or a placebo beverage, given in random order. Follow-up was conducted in 5 waves over 6 years after the sessions to assess drinking behaviors and alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms. Retention was high with 98% (509 of 520) of possible follow-ups completed.
Greater sensitivity to alcohol, in terms of stimulation and rewarding effects (like, want more) and lower sensitivity to alcohol sedation predicted greater number of AUD symptoms through 6 years of follow-up. Cluster analyses revealed that for half the sample, increasing levels of stimulation and liking were predictors of more AUD symptoms with the other half divided between those showing like and want more and want more alone as significant predictors.
The findings extend previous findings and offer new empirical insights into the propensity for excessive drinking and alcohol problems. Heightened alcohol stimulation and reward sensitivity robustly predicted more alcohol use disorder symptoms over time associated with greater binge-drinking frequency. These drinking problems were maintained and progressed as these participants were entering their third decade of life, a developmental interval when continued alcohol misuse becomes more deviant.
PMCID: PMC4280017  PMID: 24094754
Alcohol response; binge drinking; differentiator model; reward sensitivity; stimulation; subjective effects; trajectory
16.  Efficacy of paracetamol on patent ductus arteriosus closure may be dose dependent: evidence from human and murine studies 
Pediatric research  2014;76(3):238-244.
We evaluated the clinical effectiveness of variable courses of paracetamol on patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) closure and examined its effect on the in vitro term and preterm murine ductus arteriosus (DA).
Neonates received one of the following three paracetamol regimens: short course of oral paracetamol (SCOP), long course of oral paracetamol (LCOP), and intravenous paracetamol (IVP) for 2–6 d. Pressure myography was used to examine changes in vasomotor tone of the preterm and term mouse DA in response to paracetamol or indomethacin. Their effect on prostaglandin synthesis by DA explants was measured by mass spectroscopy.
Twenty-one preterm infants were included. No changes in PDA hemodynamics were seen in SCOP infants (n = 5). The PDA became less significant and eventually closed in six LCOP infants (n = 7). PDA closure was achieved in eight IVP infants (n = 9). On pressure myograph, paracetamol induced a concentration-dependent constriction of the term mouse DA, up to 30% of baseline (P < 0.01), but required >1 μmol/l. Indomethacin induced greater DA constriction and suppression of prostaglandin synthesis (P < 0.05).
The clinical efficacy of paracetamol on PDA closure may depend on the duration of treatment and the mode of administration. Paracetamol is less potent than indomethacin for constriction of the mouse DA in vitro.
PMCID: PMC4321957  PMID: 24941212
17.  GF120918 as a chemical Abcg2 knockout model to study nitrofurantoin transfer into milk 
Genetic knockout mice studies suggested ABCG2/Abcg2 translocates nitrofurantoin at the mammary – blood barrier resulting in drug accumulation in milk. The purpose of this study was to establish the role of Abcg2 in nitrofurantoin accumulation in rat milk using GF120918 as a “chemical knockout” equivalent. The inhibitory effect of GF120918 was verified in MDCKII cells stably expressing rat Abcg2 with Hoechst 33342 and nitrofurantoin flux in transwells. Nitrofurantoin was infused (0.5mg/h) in the absence and presence GF120918 (10mg/kg in DMSO) to Sprague Dawley lactating female rats using a balanced crossover design. Administration of GF120918 increased nitrofurantoin concentration in serum (from 443±51 to 650±120ng/ml) and decreased concentration in milk (from 18.1±0.9 to 1.9±1.2μg/ml), resulting in corresponding mean values for M/S of 41.4±19.1 vs. 3.04±2.27 in the absence and presence of GF120918 (p<0.05), respectively. There was a decrease in systemic clearance with GF120918 (2.8±0.5 L/h/kg) compared to vehicle controls (4.1±0.5L/h/kg; p<0.05). Western blot analysis revealed good expression of Abcg2 and no P-gp expression in mammary gland while immunohistochemistry confirmed the apical expression of Abcg2 in lactating mammary gland epithelia. Nitrofurantoin active transport into rat milk can be inhibited by GF120918 resulting in a 10-fold lower M/S. Although GF120918 inhibits both Abcg2 and P-gp, the high expression of Abcg2 and the absence of detectable P-gp expression in lactating mammary gland validates an important role for Abcg2 in nitrofurantoin accumulation in rat milk. GF120918 is particularly useful as a rat “chemical knockout” model to establish ABCG2’s role in drug transfer into milk during breastfeeding.
PMCID: PMC2837273  PMID: 18799806
18.  Should TED Talks Be Teaching Us Something? 
PMCID: PMC4140479  PMID: 25147385
19.  Localization and Functional Characterization of the Rat Oatp4c1 Transporter in an In Vitro Cell System and Rat Tissues 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39641.
The organic anion transporting polypeptide 4c1 (Oatp4c1) was previously identified as a novel uptake transporter predominantly expressed at the basolateral membrane in the rat kidney proximal tubules. Its functional role was suggested to be a vectorial transport partner of an apically-expressed efflux transporter for the efficient translocation of physiological substrates into urine, some of which were suggested to be uremic toxins. However, our in vitro studies with MDCKII cells showed that upon transfection rat Oatp4c1 polarizes to the apical membrane. In this report, we validated the trafficking and function of Oatp4c1 in polarized cell systems as well as its subcellular localization in rat kidney. Using several complementary biochemical, molecular and proteomic methods as well as antibodies amenable to immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and immunobloting we investigated the expression pattern of Oatp4c1 in polarized cell systems and in the rat kidney. Collectively, these data demonstrate that rat Oatp4c1 traffics to the apical cell surface of polarized epithelium and localizes primarily in the proximal straight tubules, the S3 fraction of the nephron. Drug uptake studies in Oatp4c1-overexpressing cells demonstrated that Oatp4c1-mediated estrone-3-sulfate (E3S) uptake was pH-dependent and ATP-independent. These data definitively demonstrate the subcellular localization and histological location of Oatp4c1 and provide additional functional evidence that reconciles expression-function reports found in the literature.
PMCID: PMC3387246  PMID: 22768102
20.  Lessons learned during implementation of therapeutic hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy in a regional transport program in Ontario 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2011;16(3):153-156.
Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is the first intervention to consistently show improved neurological outcomes in neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Since the recent introduction of TH for HIE in many centres, reviews of practices during the implementation of TH in Canada have not been published.
To determine if eligible neonates are being offered TH and to identify any barriers to the effective implementation of TH.
A retrospective review of neonates referred to a regional tertiary centre at a gestational age of 35 weeks or more with HIE was conducted.
Among 41 neonates referred, 29 (71%) were eligible for TH; among eligible patients, five were moribund and excluded, and TH was initiated in 16 (67%) of the remaining 24. Reasons for not cooling in eight eligible patients included a delay in referral (n=5, median age at referral was 14 h) and a failure to recognize the severity of HIE (n=3). Among cooled patients, median times were the following: 116 min for age at referral; 80 min for time from referral to transport team arrival; and 358 min for age at initiation of cooling. Seven (44%) patients had cooling initiated after 6 h of age.
A significant proportion of eligible patients were not offered TH, and in many cooled patients, initiation of cooling was delayed beyond the recommended 6 h. For eligible patients to benefit from TH, it is imperative that all birthing centres be made aware that TH is now widely available as an important treatment option, but also that TH is a time-sensitive therapy requiring rapid identification and referral. In the region studied, for eligible patients, referring hospitals should initiate passive cooling before arrival of the transport team. Referring hospitals should be prepared to provide early, yet safe initiation of passive cooling by having the appropriate equipment, and having staff trained in the use and monitoring of rectal temperatures.
PMCID: PMC3077305  PMID: 22379379
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; Infant; Newborn; Therapeutic hypothermia
21.  Expanding the Utility of the Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale (BAES) and Initial Psychometric Support for the Brief-BAES (B-BAES) 
The utility of one of the most widely used subjective alcohol assessment tools, the Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale (BAES) has been somewhat limited based on lack of psychometric studies in large and diverse samples, a range of alcohol doses, the length of the measure, and the original instructional set which precluded baseline measurement and disclosed to subjects that they received alcohol.
The current study investigated the factor structure of the BAES with a modified instructional set at pre-drink baseline and after consumption of various doses of alcohol, in a sample of 190 men and women heavy and light social drinkers. This study also tested the psychometric properties of a brief BAES (B-BAES).
Results demonstrated robust support of the stimulant and sedative constructs across all conditions, and demonstrated strong psychometric support for a six-item B-BAES.
This is the first comprehensive study to expand the utility of the BAES by instructional set, baseline measurement, at various alcohol doses, and by drinking history and sex. In addition, the introduction of the B-BAES may further increase the utility of this scale, particularly in paradigms with repeated measurement or time constraints.
PMCID: PMC2856649  PMID: 19320625
Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale (BAES); Brief-BAES (B-BAES); alcohol stimulation; subjective effects; psychometric properties
22.  Mechanism-Based Pharmacodynamic Models of Fluoroquinolone Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus 
Pharmacodynamic modeling from earlier experiments in which two ciprofloxacin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus strains and their corresponding resistant grlA mutants were exposed to a series of ciprofloxacin (J. J. Campion, P. J. McNamara, and M. E. Evans, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 49:209-219, 2005) and levofloxacin (J. J. Campion et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 49:2189-2199, 2005) pharmacokinetic profiles in an in vitro system indicated that the subpopulation-specific estimated maximal killing rate constants were similar for both agents, suggesting a common mechanism of action. We propose two novel pharmacodynamic models that assign mechanisms of action to fluoroquinolones (growth inhibition or death stimulation) and compare the abilities of these models and two other maximum effect models (net effect and MIC based) to describe and predict the changes in the population dynamics observed during our previous in vitro system experiments with ciprofloxacin. A high correlation between predicted and observed viable counts was observed for all models, but the best fits, as assessed by diagnostic tests, and the most precise parameter estimates were obtained with the growth inhibition and net effect models. All models, except the death stimulation model, correctly predicted that resistant subpopulations would not emerge when a high-density culture was exposed to a high initial concentration designed to rapidly eradicate low-level-resistant grlA mutants. Additional experiments are necessary to elucidate which of the proposed mechanistic models best characterizes the antibacterial effects of fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents.
PMCID: PMC1563538  PMID: 16940088
23.  Pharmacodynamic Modeling of the Evolution of Levofloxacin Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus 
Previously, we demonstrated the importance of low-level-resistant variants to the evolution of resistance in Staphylococcus aureus exposed to ciprofloxacin in an in vitro system and developed a pharmacodynamic model which predicted the emergence of resistance. Here, we examine and model the evolution of resistance to levofloxacin in S. aureus exposed to simulated levofloxacin pharmacokinetic profiles. Enrichment of subpopulations with mutations in grlA and low-level resistance varied with levofloxacin exposure. A regimen producing average steady-state concentrations (Cavg ss) just above the MIC selected grlA mutants with up to 16-fold increases in the MIC and often additional mutations in grlA/grlB and gyrA. A regimen providing Cavg ss between the MIC and the mutant prevention concentration (MPC) suppressed bacterial numbers to the limit of detection and prevented the appearance of bacteria with additional mutations or high-level resistance. Regimens producing Cavg ss above the MPC appeared to eradicate low-level-resistant variants in the cultures and prevent the emergence of resistance. There was no relationship between the time concentrations remained between the MIC and the MPC and the degree of resistance or the presence or type of mutations that appeared in grlA/B or gyrA. Our pharmacodynamic model described the growth and levofloxacin killing of the parent strains and the most resistant grlA mutants in the starting cultures and correctly predicted conditions that enrich subpopulations with low-level resistance. These findings suggest that the pharmacodynamic model has general applicability for describing fluoroquinolone resistance in S. aureus and further demonstrate the importance of low-level-resistant variants to the evolution of resistance.
PMCID: PMC1140504  PMID: 15917512
24.  Role of P-Glycoprotein in Distribution of Nelfinavir across the Blood-Mammary Tissue Barrier and Blood-Brain Barrier 
As a first approach in understanding the possible efficacy and toxicity of human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitors during breast feeding, the milk-to-plasma ratio of nelfinavir was determined in lactating rats. The milk-to-plasma ratio of nelfinavir was determined to be 0.56 ± 0.10 (means ± standard deviations). Western blotting indicated that P-glycoprotein is expressed in rat mammary and brain tissue; however, the multidrug-resistant modulator GF120918 showed a significant effect only at the blood-brain barrier and not at the mammary-epithelial tissue barrier.
PMCID: PMC1068594  PMID: 15793156
25.  Pharmacodynamic Modeling of Ciprofloxacin Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus 
Three pharmacodynamic models of increasing complexity, designed for two subpopulations of bacteria with different susceptibilities, were developed to describe and predict the evolution of resistance to ciprofloxacin in Staphylococcus aureus by using pharmacokinetic, viable count, subpopulation, and resistance mechanism data obtained from in vitro system experiments. A two-population model with unique growth and killing rate constants for the ciprofloxacin-susceptible and -resistant subpopulations best described the initial killing and subsequent regrowth patterns observed. The model correctly described the enrichment of subpopulations with low-level resistance in the parent cultures but did not identify a relationship between the time ciprofloxacin concentrations were in the mutant selection window (the interval between the MIC and the mutant prevention concentration) and the enrichment of these subpopulations. The model confirmed the importance of resistant variants to the emergence of resistance by successfully predicting that resistant subpopulations would not emerge when a low-density culture, with a low probability of mutants, was exposed to a clinical dosing regimen or when a high-density culture, with a higher probability of mutants, was exposed to a transient high initial concentration designed to rapidly eradicate low-level resistant grlA mutants. The model, however, did not predict or explain the origin of variants with higher levels of resistance that appeared and became the predominant subpopulation during some experiments or the persistence of susceptible bacteria in other experiments where resistance did not emerge. Continued evaluation of the present two-population pharmacodynamic model and development of alternative models is warranted.
PMCID: PMC538881  PMID: 15616298

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