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1.  Morphine pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in preterm and term neonates: secondary results from the NEOPAIN trial 
BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia  2008;101(5):680-689.
Relationships between plasma morphine concentrations and neonatal responses to endotracheal tube (ETT) suctioning are unknown in preterm neonates.
Ventilated preterm neonates (n=898) from 16 centres were randomly assigned to placebo (n=449) or morphine (n=449). After an i.v. loading dose (100 µg kg−1), morphine infusions [23–26 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA) 10 µg kg−1 h−1; 27–29 weeks 20 µg kg−1 h−1; and 30–32 weeks 30 µg kg−1 h−1] were established for a maximum of 14 days. Open-label morphine (20–100 µg kg−1) was given for pain or agitation. Morphine assay and neonatal response to ETT suctioning was measured at 20–28 and 70–76 h after starting the drug infusion and at 10–14 h after discontinuation of the study drug. The concentration–effect response was investigated using non-linear mixed effects models.
A total of 5119 data points (1598 measured morphine concentrations and 3521 effect measures) were available from 875 neonates for analysis. Clearance was 50% that of the mature value at 54.2 weeks PMA (CLmat50) and increased from 2.05 litre h−1 70 kg−1 at 24 weeks PMA to 6.04 litre h−1 70 kg−1 at 32 weeks PMA. The volume of distribution in preterm neonates was 190 litre 70 kg−1 (CV 51%) and did not change with age. There was no relationship between morphine concentrations (range 0–440 µg litre−1) and heart rate changes associated with ETT suctioning or with the Premature Infant Pain Profile.
A sigmoid curve describing maturation of morphine clearance is moved to the right in preterm neonates and volume of distribution is increased compared with term neonates. Morphine does not alter the neonatal response to ETT suctioning.
PMCID: PMC2733178  PMID: 18723857
anaesthesia, paediatric; anaesthetic–analgesic regimens; analgesics opioid, morphine; model, pharmacodynamic; model, pharmacokinetic
2.  Five Additional Genes Are Involved in Clavulanic Acid Biosynthesis in Streptomyces clavuligerus 
An approximately 12.5-kbp region of DNA sequence from beyond the end of the previously described clavulanic acid gene cluster was analyzed and found to encode nine possible open reading frames (ORFs). Involvement of these ORFs in clavulanic acid biosynthesis was assessed by creating mutants with defects in each of the ORFs. orf12 and orf14 had been previously reported to be involved in clavulanic acid biosynthesis. Now five additional ORFs are shown to play a role, since their mutation results in a significant decrease or total absence of clavulanic acid production. Most of these newly described ORFs encode proteins with little similarity to others in the databases, and so their roles in clavulanic acid biosynthesis are unclear. Mutation of two of the ORFs, orf15 and orf16, results in the accumulation of a new metabolite, N-acetylglycylclavaminic acid, in place of clavulanic acid. orf18 and orf19 encode apparent penicillin binding proteins, and while mutations in these genes have minimal effects on clavulanic acid production, their normal roles as cell wall biosynthetic enzymes and as targets for β-lactam antibiotics, together with their clustered location, suggest that they are part of the clavulanic acid gene cluster.
PMCID: PMC310172  PMID: 14693539
3.  Applications of Gene Replacement Technology to Streptomyces clavuligerus Strain Development for Clavulanic Acid Production 
Cephamycin C production was blocked in wild-type cultures of the clavulanic acid-producing organism Streptomyces clavuligerus by targeted disruption of the gene (lat) encoding lysine ɛ-aminotransferase. Specific production of clavulanic acid increased in the lat mutants derived from the wild-type strain by 2- to 2.5-fold. Similar beneficial effects on clavulanic acid production were noted in previous studies when gene disruption was used to block the production of the non-clavulanic acid clavams produced by S. clavuligerus. Therefore, mutations in lat and in cvm1, a gene involved in clavam production, were introduced into a high-titer industrial strain of S. clavuligerus to create a double mutant with defects in production of both cephamycin C and clavams. Production of both cephamycin C and non-clavulanic acid clavams was eliminated in the double mutant, and clavulanic acid titers increased about 10% relative to those of the parental strain. This represents the first report of the successful use of genetic engineering to eliminate undesirable metabolic pathways in an industrial strain used for the production of an antibiotic important in human medicine.
PMCID: PMC92869  PMID: 11319114
4.  Interleukins 6 and 11 protect mice from mortality in a staphylococcal enterotoxin-induced toxic shock model. 
Infection and Immunity  1996;64(3):714-718.
BALB/By mice given doses of D-galactosamine plus Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B die within 48 h of administration. The cause of death is a syndrome much like toxic shock syndrome in humans. We used this model to investigate the role of two cytokines, interleukin 6 and interleukin 11, which share the signal transducing subunit, gp130, of their respective receptors. We observed that pretreatment of mice with antibody to interleukin 6 increased mortality from 55% to nearly 90% (P < 0.001), while pretreatment with either cytokine reduced death. The protection was dose dependent; however, interleukin 6 was about 10-fold more potent that interleukin 11. These data indicate that endogenous interleukin 6 plays a protective role in attenuating acute inflammatory responses; furthermore, interleukin 6 and interleukin 11 can abrogate T-cell activation due to triggering by superantigen. A possible clinical role for these cytokines in the treatment of toxic shock merits further investigation.
PMCID: PMC173827  PMID: 8641771
5.  Molecular cloning of chromosome I DNA from Saccharomyces cerevisiae: analysis of the genes in the FUN38-MAK16-SPO7 region. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1994;176(7):1872-1880.
Transcribed regions on a 42-kb segment of chromosome I from Saccharomyces cerevisiae were mapped. Polyadenylated transcripts corresponding to eight previously characterized genes (MAK16, LTE1, CCR4, FUN30, FUN31, TPD3, DEP1, and CYS3) and eight new genes were identified. All transcripts were present at one to four copies per cell except for one which was significantly less abundant. This region has been sequenced, and the sizes, locations, and orientations of the transcripts were in nearly perfect agreement with the open reading frames. Disruptions in eight genes identified solely on the basis of a transcribed region, FUN38, FUN25, FUN26, FUN28, FUN30, FUN31, FUN33, and FUN34, indicated that all were nonessential for growth on rich medium at 30 degrees C. Disruption of FUN30, a gene closely related to RAD16 and RAD54, surprisingly resulted in increased resistance to UV irradiation. No additional phenotypes, other than slow growth, were observed for all other mutants. The distribution of essential genes on chromosome I is discussed.
PMCID: PMC205289  PMID: 8144453
6.  Protective role of interleukin 6 in the lipopolysaccharide-galactosamine septic shock model. 
Infection and Immunity  1993;61(4):1496-1499.
C57BL/6J mice given low doses of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (100 ng per mouse) plus D-galactosamine (8 mg per mouse) die within 24 h following LPS administration. We used this septic shock model to confirm the role of tumor necrosis factor in mortality using a monoclonal antibody to tumor necrosis factor to prevent lethality. Furthermore, we demonstrated that interleukin 6, rather than playing a lethal role, protected mice against death in this septic shock model. Antibody to interleukin 6 did not affect the fatal outcome in this low-LPS-dose model. However, pretreatment with antibody to tumor necrosis factor did protect the mice against death, in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, mortality was enhanced by pretreatment with antibody to interleukin 6 when tumor necrosis factor was partly limited by anti-tumor necrosis factor treatment. Mortality was significantly reduced by pretreatment with both recombinant interleukin 6 and low doses of antibody to tumor necrosis factor; in the absence of the low dose of antibody to tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 6 alone did not confer any protection. These data demonstrate in vivo antagonistic activities of tumor necrosis factor and interleukin 6 and show that interleukin 6 can play a protective role against death from septic shock.
PMCID: PMC281391  PMID: 8454355

Results 1-8 (8)