John Libbey Eurotext

Magnesium Research


Structural alterations of the vascular wall in magnesium‐deficient mice. A possible role of gelatinases A (MMP‐2) and B (MMP‐9) Volume 16, issue 1, March 2003


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Faculté de Pharmacie, Route du Rhin, Strasbourg, 76400 Illkirch, France ; Faculté de Chirurgie dentaire, Paris V, 92210 Montrouge, France ; Faculté de Pharmacie, Paris XI, Rue J.B. Clément. 92290 Châtenay Malabry, France ; SDRM, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 75252 Paris, France
  • Key words: magnesium deficiency, connective tissue, collagens, elastin, metalloproteinases, zymogen, mice, aorta, histology
  • Page(s) : 43-8
  • Published in: 2003

Vascular alterations during magnesium deficiency have long been known but the implicated mechanisms have so far been poorly documented. In this preliminary assay, we compared the thoracic aortic histology in Swiss OF1 mice fed a severe magnesium‐deficient diet (50 ± 5 ppm) for 42 days to that of controls fed a standard diet (1700 ± 100 ppm magnesium). It appeared (eosin‐haematoxylin coloration) that, in magnesium‐deficient mice, the aortic wall was thinner than in controls. Specific colorations of the two of main fibers vascular tissue (collagens et elastin) showed severe structural alterations of both components. These changes were consecutive to the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) ‐‐ 2 and ‐‐ 9 which were present as zymogens (inactive forms) in controls and supposed to be present in their active and inactive forms in magnesium‐deficient mice (zymography). These changes which have not been reported so far would explain, at least in part, the sensitivity of magnesium‐deficient mice to various stress or xenobiotics.