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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2014 Jun;92(6):438-44. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2013-0403. Epub 2014 Feb 24.

Modulation of GLUT4 expression by oral administration of Mg(2+) to control sugar levels in STZ-induced diabetic rats.

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a Biology department, Payamenoor University, Tehran, Iran.


It has been previously shown that oral magnesium administration decreases the levels of glucose in the plasma. However, the mechanisms are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to determine the potential role of GLUT4 on plasma glucose levels by orally administering magnesium sulfate to diabetic rats. Animals were distributed among 4 groups (n = 10 rats per group): one group served as the non-diabetic control, while the other groups had diabetes induced by streptozotocin (intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection). The diabetic rats were either given insulin by i.p. injection (2.5 U·(kg body mass)(-1)·day(-1)), or magnesium sulfate in their drinking water (10 g·L(-1)). After 8 weeks of treatment, we conducted an i.p. glucose tolerance test (IPGTT), measured blood glucose and plasma magnesium levels, and performed in-vitro and in-vivo insulin level measurements by radioimmunoassay. Gastrocnemius (leg) muscles were isolated for the measurement of GLU4 mRNA expression using real-time PCR. Administration of magnesium sulfate improved IPGTT and lowered blood glucose levels almost to the normal range. However, the insulin levels were not changed in either of the in-vitro or in-vivo studies. The expression of GLU4 mRNA increased 23% and 10% in diabetic magnesium-treated and insulin-treated groups, respectively. Our findings suggest that magnesium lowers blood glucose levels via increased GLU4 mRNA expression, independent to insulin secretion.


GLUT4; diabetes; diabète; insulin; insuline; magnesium; magnésium

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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