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Magnes Res. 1996 Mar;9(1):3-11.

Immunoregulation by neuropeptides in magnesium deficiency: ex vivo effect of enhanced substance P production on circulating T lymphocytes from magnesium-deficient mice.

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  • 1George Washington University Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


The first week of dietary magnesium deficiency in rodent models is characterized by the induction of raised levels of neuropeptides (substance P [SP] and calcitonin gene related peptide [CGRP]), followed shortly thereafter by inflammatory cytokine release. Since neuropeptides participate in neurogenic inflammation, we have proposed that the neurogenic inflammatory response plays a role in the pathology of magnesium deficiency. However, the association between the early neuropeptide release and the subsequent pathology in this model remains unclear. Peripheral blood T lymphocytes were obtained from Balb/c mice fed a magnesium-deficient diet (approximately 1.8 mmol Mg/kg), or the same diet supplemented with 20 mmol MgO/kg. These cells were incubated in medium containing 10(-10) to 10(-5) M SP, after which the cells were examined for expression of SP receptors and the supernatants were collected and examined by immunochemical techniques for the presence of T lymphocyte associated cytokines. SP stimulation induced the secretion of interleukin (IL)-2, 4, 5, 10, 12, 13 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). T lymphocytes from magnesium-deficient animals, when compared to magnesium-sufficient ones, secreted increased levels of these cytokines. The secretion of these cytokines was maximal at either 5 days (IL-4, IL-5) or 7 days (II-2, IL-10, and IFN-gamma) of magnesium deficiency. This increased sensitivity to SP appears to be related to an increased expression of SP receptors on the surface of T lymphocytes during the first week of magnesium deficiency. These data indicate that SP released early during magnesium deficiency exerts a regulatory role on T lymphocyte cytokine production, especially those cytokines regulating mast cell and immune responses leading to the onset of an immunopathological state.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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