Nick M Clayton

The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (31)150 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Optimization of the novel alpha-2-delta-1 ligand 4 provided compounds 37 and 38 which have improved DMPK profiles, good in vivo analgesic activity and in vitro selectivity over alpha-2-delta-2. An in-house P-gp prediction programme and the MetaSite software package were used to help solve the specific problems of high P-gp efflux and high in vivo clearance.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2010 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
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    ABSTRACT: We report the synthesis and SAR of a series of novel azaindole CB(2) agonists. 6-Azaindole 18 showed activity in an acute pain model but was inactive in a chronic model. 18 is a Pgp substrate with low brain penetration. The template was redesigned, and the resulting 5-azaindole 36 was a potent CB(2) agonist with high CNS penetration. This compound was efficacious in the acute model and the chronic joint pain model.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2009 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · European journal of pain (London, England)
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the presence of proteinase-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) in the human tooth pulp and to determine whether there are any changes in receptor expression with caries and pain. Forty-four mandibular first permanent molars were collected from children (n = 36, mean age 9.96 years +/- 2.11) requiring dental extractions under general anesthesia. Teeth were categorized as either intact (n = 22) or carious (n = 22). Carious teeth were further subdivided into asymptomatic (n = 10) and painful (n = 12). The coronal pulp was removed and processed for indirect immunofluorescence by using antibodies raised against PAR2 and double labeled with either a neuronal marker (protein gene product 9.5) or both a smooth muscle cell (aSMA) and endothelial (UEIL) marker, in order to examine PAR2 presence in both neuronal and vascular tissue. In addition, hemotoxylin and eosin staining was performed to identify pulpal fibroblasts. PAR2 expression was found to be present in pulpal nerve fibers, vascular tissue, and pulpal fibroblasts. PAR2 neuronal expression was not affected by the presence of caries (P > .05) but was significantly less in carious painful teeth than in carious asymptomatic teeth (P < .05). No changes in vascular PAR2 expression were found (P > .05); however, the number of PAR2-labeled fibroblast-like cells per mm2 was significantly greater in carious teeth (P < .05). These findings indicate that PAR2 receptors and changes in their level of expression may have relevance and clinical importance in nociception.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · Journal of orofacial pain
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    ABSTRACT: A novel series of [4-[4-(methylsulfonyl)phenyl]-6-(trifluoromethyl)-2-pyrimidine-based cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, which have a different arrangement of substituents compared to the more common 1,2-diarylheterocycle based molecules, have been discovered. For example, 2-(butyloxy)-4-[4-(methylsulfonyl)phenyl]-6-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidine (47), a member of the 2-pyrimidinyl ether series, has been shown to be a potent and selective inhibitor with a favourable pharmacokinetic profile, high brain penetration and good efficacy in rat models of hypersensitivity.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2009 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
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    ABSTRACT: We describe herein the medicinal chemistry approach which led to the discovery of a novel pyridine-3-carboxamide series of CB(2) receptor agonists. The SAR of this new template was evaluated and culminated in the identification of analogue 14a which demonstrated efficacy in an in vivo model of inflammatory pain.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2008 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal neural activity generated at a site of nerve injury is thought to contribute to the development of dysaesthesia. Vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1), a transducer of noxious stimuli, may be involved in the initiation of this abnormal activity and could provide a useful therapeutic target. We investigated the effect of a specific TRPV1 antagonist (SB-750364) on injury-induced discharge in the lingual nerve. In 12 anaesthetised adult ferrets the left lingual nerve was sectioned and animals were allowed to recover for 3-7 days. In terminal experiments under general anaesthesia, the nerve was re-exposed and electrophysiological recordings made from spontaneously active axons in fine filaments dissected from the nerve central to both the injury site and the junction with the chorda tympani. SB-750364 was infused via the cephalic vein in order to achieve three increasing but stable systemic blood levels of the compound (0.3, 1.0 and 3.0 microM). Twenty-eight spontaneously active units were studied, with discharge frequencies ranging from 0.02 to 4.9 Hz. There was a significant reduction in spontaneous activity in 17 units (61%) at 1.0 microM or less of SB-750364 (p<0.01; Friedman test with Dunn's multiple comparisons). A further 4 units (14%) showed a significant reduction in activity at 3.0 microM (p<0.01). In the remaining 7 units (25%) the discharge was unaffected (p>0.05). These data show that the TRPV1 antagonist SB-750364 can reduce the level of spontaneous activity initiated in some axons following lingual nerve injury.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2008 · Neuroscience Letters
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    ABSTRACT: We have investigated a possible role for the ATP receptor subunit P2X(3), in the development of neuropathic pain following injury to a peripheral branch of the trigeminal nerve. In nine anaesthetised adult ferrets the left lingual nerve was sectioned and recovery permitted for 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months (3 ferrets per group). A retrograde tracer, fluorogold, was applied to the nerve to allow identification of cell bodies in the trigeminal ganglion with axons in the injured nerve. Indirect immunofluorescence for P2X(3) and image analysis was used to quantify the percentage area of staining at the site of injury. Additionally, the proportion of fluorogold-positive cells that expressed P2X(3) was determined and compared with expression in non-fluorogold containing cells in another part of the ganglion. Comparisons were made with results from control animals that only received the tracer injection. After lingual nerve injury there was no significant change in P2X(3) expression at the site of nerve injury or within cell bodies linked to either injured (lingual) or uninjured (ophthalmic) axons, at any of the time periods investigated. Overall, this study suggests that P2X(3) expression at these sites is not involved in the development of neuropathic pain following lingual nerve injury.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2008 · Neuroscience Letters
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    ABSTRACT: The role of specific nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subtypes in antinociception has not been fully elucidated because of the lack, until recently, of selective tool compounds. (R)-N-(1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl)(5-(2-pyridyl)thiopene-2-carboxamide) (compound B) is reported to be an agonist selective for the alpha(7)nAChR and in the present study was found to be efficacious in inflammatory pain models in 2 species. Compound B reversed complete Freund adjuvant-induced reductions in paw withdrawal thresholds in rat and mouse in a dose-related manner, producing maximum reversals of 65% +/- 4% at 10 mg/kg and 87% +/- 15% at 20 mg/kg. When rats and mice were predosed with the centrally penetrant, broad-spectrum nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine, the efficacy of the agonist was significantly inhibited, producing reversals of only 11% +/- 5% at 10 mg/kg and 5% +/- 13% at 20 mg/kg, confirming activity via nicotinic receptors. Rats were also predosed systemically with the selective low-brain penetrant alpha(7)-antagonist methyllycaconitine, which had no effect on agonist activity (90% +/- 18% at 10 mg/kg), suggesting a central involvement. This hypothesis was further established with methyllycaconitine completely inhibited the agonist effect when dosed intrathecally (1% +/- 7%). PERSPECTIVE: These studies provide good rationale for the utility of selective, central nervous system penetrant agonists at the alpha(7)-nicotinic receptor for the treatment of inflammatory pain.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2008 · The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a model to study central changes following inflammation of the tooth pulp in the ferret and have examined Fos expression in the trigeminal nucleus following stimulation of non-inflamed and inflamed tooth pulps. The aim of this study was to establish the ability of this model to predict analgesic efficacy in clinical studies of inflammatory pain. We addressed this by assessing the effects of the neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist GR205171A and ibuprofen on Fos expression following stimulation of the inflamed pulp and comparing this with known analgesic efficacy. Adult ferrets were prepared under anaesthesia to allow tooth pulp stimulation, recording from the digastric muscle and intravenous injections at a subsequent experiment. In some animals pulpal inflammation was induced, by introducing human caries into a deep buccal cavity. After 5 days, animals were reanaesthetised, treated with vehicle, GR205171A or ibuprofen and the teeth were stimulated at ten times the threshold of the jaw-opening reflex. Stimulation of all tooth pulps induced ipsilateral Fos in trigeminal subnuclei caudalis and oralis. GR205171A had no significant effect on Fos expression in the trigeminal nucleus of animals with either non-inflamed or inflamed tooth pulps. Ibuprofen reduced Fos expression in the trigeminal nucleus and this effect was most marked in animals with pulpal inflammation. These results differ from those previously described using a range of other animal models, but agree with known clinical efficacy of neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists and ibuprofen. Therefore this model is likely to be of use in accurately predicting the analgesic efficacy of novel compounds.
    No preview · Article · May 2008 · European journal of pain (London, England)
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    ABSTRACT: Selective CB2 receptor agonists are promising potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. A focused screen identified a pyrimidine ester as a partial agonist at the CB2 receptor with micromolar potency. Subsequent lead optimization identified 35, GW842166X, as the optimal compound in the series. 35 has an oral ED50 of 0.1 mg/kg in the rat FCA model of inflammatory pain and was selected as a clinical candidate for this indication.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2007 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: We have investigated a possible role for vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1), a transducer of noxious stimuli, in the development of neuropathic pain following injury to a peripheral branch of the trigeminal nerve. In nine adult ferrets the left lingual nerve was sectioned and recovery permitted for 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months (3 ferrets per group). A retrograde tracer, fluorogold, was injected into the damaged nerve to identify associated cell bodies in the trigeminal ganglion. Three further ferrets, receiving only tracer injection, served as uninjured controls. Indirect immunofluorescence for TRPV1 and image analysis was used to quantify the percentage area of staining (PAS) of TRPV1 in the left and right lingual nerves. Additionally, the proportion of fluorogold positive and fluorogold negative cells expressing TRPV1 in the ganglion was determined. TRPV1 expression increased significantly at the injury site of damaged nerves 3 days after injury and this was matched by a reduction in the proportion of fluorogold positive cells expressing TRPV1 in the ganglion. At 3 weeks TRPV1 expression at the injury site was still high, while in the ganglion was significantly greater than in the controls. In the 3-month recovery group TRPV1 expression in both nerve fibres and ganglion cells, was not significantly different from controls and there were no changes in expression in the fluorogold negative cells in the ganglion at any time point studied. These data suggest that after injury there is an increase in the axonal transport of TRPV1 from the cell bodies to the damaged axons and this is followed by an increase in synthesis in the ganglion. These changes in expression may be involved in development of sensory disturbances or dysaesthesia after injury.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2007 · European Journal of Pain
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously carried out detailed characterization and identification of Fos expression within the trigeminal nucleus after tooth pulp stimulation in ferrets. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of pulpal inflammation on the excitability of central trigeminal neurons following tooth pulp stimulation. Adult ferrets were prepared under anesthesia to allow tooth pulp stimulation, recording from the digastric muscle, and intravenous injections at a subsequent experiment. In some animals, pulpal inflammation was induced by introducing human caries into a deep buccal cavity. After 5 d, animals were re-anaethetized, and the teeth were stimulated at 10 times the threshold of the jaw-opening reflex. Stimulation of all tooth pulps induced ipsilateral Fos in the trigeminal subnuclei caudalis and oralis. All non-stimulated animals showed negligible Fos labeling, with no differences recorded between inflamed and non-inflamed groups. Following tooth pulp stimulation, Fos expression was greater in animals with inflamed teeth than in animals with non-inflamed teeth, with the greatest effect seen in the subnucleus caudalis. These results suggest that inflammation increases the number of trigeminal brainstem neurons activated by tooth pulp stimulation; this may be mediated by peripheral or central mechanisms.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2007 · European Journal Of Oral Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The lingual nerve, a peripheral branch of the trigeminal nerve, can be damaged during the surgical removal of lower third molar teeth. This damage can lead to the development of dysaesthesia, with some patients complaining of burning pain. We investigated the hypothesis that vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1), a transducer of noxious heat stimuli, was involved in the development of this burning pain. Neuroma specimens were obtained from patients undergoing microsurgical repair of a damaged lingual nerve. Repair was undertaken where there was little evidence of spontaneous recovery, 7-41 months after the initial injury. Preoperatively the incidence of dysaesthesia was determined by reported symptoms and using visual analogue scales (VAS) for pain, tingling and discomfort. Nine neuromas were studied from patients with burning dysaesthesia and six from patients with a sensory deficit but no dysaesthesia. Indirect immunofluorescence for protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 and TRPV1 was used to quantify the percentage area of PGP 9.5 positive neuronal tissue that also expressed TRPV1. The results showed no significant difference between the mean percentage area of TRPV1 expression in neuromas from patients with or without burning dysaesthesia. Furthermore, there was no correlation between TRPV1 expression and the VAS scores for pain, tingling or discomfort. However, if data from all patients was pooled, there was a negative correlation between the level of TRPV1 expression and the time after initial injury. These data do not rule out involvement of TRPV1 in the aetiology of burning dysaesthesia following lingual nerve injury but suggest that TRPV1 at the injury site does not play a primary role.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Brain Research
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    ABSTRACT: We have investigated the expression of TTX-sensitive (TTXs) and TTX-resistant (TTXr) sodium channel subtypes following injury to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN), in order to determine their potential role in the development of trigeminal neuropathic pain. In seven anaesthetised ferrets, fluorogold (2%) was injected into the left IAN to identify cell bodies with axons in this nerve. In four animals, the nerve was sectioned distal to the injection site and the remaining three served as controls. After 3 days, the animals were perfused with 4% paraformaldehyde. The left and right IANs and trigeminal ganglia were processed using indirect immunofluorescence with specific primary antibodies to TTXs subtypes Na(v)1.3 and Na(v)1.7 and TTXr subtypes Na(v)1.8 and Na(v)1.9. Image analysis was used to quantify the percentage area of staining (PAS) in the nerves. In the ganglia, counts were made of positively labelled cells in the fluorogold population. PAS for Na(v)1.8 and Na(v)1.9 was significantly greater in injured nerves than in either contralateral or control nerves. After injury, significantly fewer cells in the ganglia expressed Na(v)1.3 (controls 36.9%; injured 13.1%), Na(v)1.7 (controls 17.0%; injured 8.1%) and Na(v)1.9 (controls 60.3%; injured 29.0%) (p<0.05, unpaired t test). These changes are different from those previously reported in the dorsal root ganglion following damage to peripheral nerves of spinal origin. As they occur at a time of known high abnormal neural discharge, it seems likely that changes in sodium channel expression may play a role in nerve injury-induced trigeminal pain.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2006 · Experimental Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery, synthesis and structure-activity relationship (SAR) of a novel series of EP1 receptor antagonists is described. Pyrazole acid 4, identified from a chemical array, had desirable physicochemical properties, an excellent in vitro microsomal inhibition and cytochrome P450 (CYP450) profile and good exposure levels in blood. This compound had an ED50 of 1.3 mg/kg in a rat pain model. A range of more potent analogues in the in vitro assay was identified using efficient array chemistry. These EP1 antagonists have potential as agents in the treatment of PGE2 mediated pain.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2006 · Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters
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    ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO), synthesised by different isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), has been linked with the development and maintenance of nociception. We studied the role of the inducible isoform, iNOS, in two different rat pain models with an inflammatory component. iNOS was immunohistochemically detected locally in the paw 6h after Freund's Complete Adjuvant (FCA) injection, showing a plateau at 24-72 h and falling slowly in the following weeks. This correlated with the late phase of the hypersensitivity to pain revealed in the behavioural tests. A highly selective iNOS inhibitor GW274150 (1-30 mg/kg orally, 24h after FCA) suppressed the accumulation of nitrite in the inflamed paw indicating substantial iNOS inhibition. At the same time it partially reversed FCA-induced hypersensitivity to pain and edema in a dose-dependent manner. After Chronic Constriction Injury (CCI) surgery to the sciatic nerve, iNOS presence was only detected locally in the region of the nerve (inflammatory cells). GW274150 (3-30 mg/kg orally, 21 days after surgery) also reversed significantly the CCI-associated hypersensitivity to pain. No iNOS was detectable in dorsal root ganglia, spinal cord or brain in either model. This study demonstrates a role for peripherally-expressed iNOS in pain conditions with an inflammatory component and the potential value of iNOS inhibitors in such conditions.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Pain
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of cannabinoid agonists on established inflammatory hyperalgesia. We have compared the effects of pre-administration versus post-administration of a potent non-selective cannabinoid agonist HU210 and a selective CB2 receptor agonist JWH-133 on hindpaw weight bearing and paw oedema in the carrageenan model of inflammatory hyperalgesia. For comparative purposes we also determined the effects of the mu-opioid receptor agonist morphine and the COX2 inhibitor rofecoxib in this model. At 3 h following intraplantar injection of carrageenan (2%, 100 microl) there was a significant (P < 0.001) reduction in weight bearing on the ipsilateral hindpaw, compared to vehicle treated rats and a concomitant increase in ipsilateral hindpaw volume (P < 0.001), compared to vehicle treated rats. Systemic administration of HU210 (10 microg/kg) and JWH-133 (10 mg/kg) at 3 h following injection of carrageenan, significantly attenuated decreases in ipsilateral hindpaw weight bearing (P < 0.05 for both) and paw volume (P < 0.001 for both). Pre-administration of HU210 and JWH-133 had similar effects on weight bearing in this model. Pre-administered HU210 also significantly decreased carrageenan-induced changes in paw volume (P < 0.001), this was not the case for JWH-133. Effects of post-administered HU210 and JWH-133 on ipsilateral hindpaw weight bearing and paw volume were comparable to the effect of systemic post-administration of morphine and rofecoxib (3 mg/kg for both). In summary, both HU210 and JWH-133 attenuated established inflammatory hypersensitivity and swelling, suggesting that cannabinoid-based drugs have clinical potential for the treatment of established inflammatory pain responses.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2005 · Pain
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the presence of vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) in human dental pulp and to correlate any expression with caries and pain. Permanent mandibular first molars were collected and categorized as intact or grossly carious. Grossly carious teeth were further categorized as carious asymptomatic or carious painful samples. Coronal pulps were removed and processed for indirect immunofluorescence using antibodies raised against TRPV1 and a neuronal marker, either protein gene product 9.5 or alpha-smooth muscle actin, in conjunction with Ulex europaeus agglutinin 1 lectin to fully label the pulp vasculature. Analysis revealed that TRPV1 labeling was not confined to pulpal nerve fibers. TRPV1 was also consistently expressed within pulp microvasculature. Expression of neuronal TRPV1 was significantly increased throughout the pulp in grossly carious samples (P < .05). No significant differences were found between carious asymptomatic and carious painful samples. A significant increase in vascular TRPV1 expression was observed in arterioles present in the midcoronal pulp in carious painful compared with carious asymptomatic samples (mean area +/- SEM [%] of TRPV1 to vascular labeling; 6.48% +/- 4.5% for carious asymptomatic teeth, n = 9; 31.21% +/- 9.6% for carious painful teeth, n = 9; P = .02). Expression of TRPV1 in pulpal nerve fibers undergoes marked changes with caries. This may be of relevance in the development of pulpal inflammation, but its relationship to dental pain is still unclear. However, vascular TRPV1 expression does appear to be positively correlated with dental pain, thus providing new insights into symptomatic pulpitis.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2005 · Journal of orofacial pain
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    ABSTRACT: The pathogenic form of the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme, COX-2, is also constitutively present in the spinal cord and has been implicated in chronic pain states in rat and man. A number of COX-2 inhibitors, including celecoxib and rofecoxib, are already used in man for the treatment of inflammatory pain. Preclinically, the dual-acting COX-2 inhibitor, GW406381X [2-(4-ethoxyphenyl)-3-[4-(methylsulfonyl)phenyl]-pyrazolo[1,5-b]pyridazine, where X denotes the free base], is as effective as rofecoxib and celecoxib in the rat established Freund's Complete Adjuvant model with an ED(50) of 1.5 mg/kg p.o. compared with 1.0 mg/kg p.o. for rofecoxib and 6.6 mg/kg p.o. for celecoxib. However, in contrast to celecoxib (5 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d.) and rofecoxib (5 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d.), which were without significant effect, GW406381X (5 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d.) fully reversed mechanical allodynia in the chronic constriction injury model and reversed thermal hyperalgesia in the mouse partial ligation model, both models of neuropathic pain. GW406381X, was also effective in a rat model of capsaicin-induced central sensitization, when given intrathecally (ED(50) = 0.07 mug) and after chronic but not acute oral dosing. Celecoxib and rofecoxib had no effect in this model. Several hypotheses have been proposed to try to explain these differences in efficacy, including central nervous system penetration, enzyme kinetics, and potency. The novel finding of effectiveness of GW406381X in these models of neuropathic pain/central sensitization, in addition to activity in inflammatory pain models and together with its central efficacy, suggests dual activity of GW406381X compared with celecoxib and rofecoxib, which may translate into greater efficacy in a broader spectrum of pain states in the clinic.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2005 · Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Publication Stats

974 Citations
150.00 Total Impact Points


  • 2009
    • The University of Sheffield
      • Academic Unit of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Surgery
      Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008
    • GlaxoSmithKline plc.
      • Neurology Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2000
    • Trinity College Dublin
      Dublin, Leinster, Ireland