Newborn infants have drug binding defects that share similarities to those of uremic subjects. Since 2-hydroxybenzoylglycine has been chemically defined to be a major drug binding inhibitor in uremia, a search for the presence of a similar compound in the sera of newborn infants was made. An organic substance that has the characteristics of 2-hydroxybenzoylglycine as supported by the retardation factor values on thin-layer chromatograms, retention times of high performance liquid chromatograms, fluorescence emission spectra, and mass spectrum has been demonstrated to be present in the majority of the neonatal sera studied. A strong positive correlation between the levels of the binding inhibitor and the extent of binding defects for nafcillin has been observed. The substance could effectively reduce the total bilirubin concentration when added to the cord sera specimens. It is concluded that 2-hydroxybenzoylglycine plays an important role in drug binding defects observed in the newborn, and the inhibitor may also play a part in the precipitation of bilirubin-induced neurotoxicity in neonates when the substance is abnormally elevated.
B Suh, S J Wadsworth, D M Lichtenwalner