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Diabetologia. 1988 Dec;31(12):910-5.

Impaired insulin-induced erythrocyte magnesium accumulation is correlated to impaired insulin-mediated glucose disposal in type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetic patients.

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Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 1st Medical School, University of Naples, Italy.


Plasma and erythrocyte magnesium levels were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry in 12 healthy subjects and 12 moderately obese patients with Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. Basal plasma and erythrocyte magnesium levels were significantly lower in diabetic patients than in control subjects. In vitro incubation in the presence of 100 mU/l insulin significantly increased magnesium erythrocyte levels in both control subjects (p less than 0.001) and patients with diabetes (p less than 0.001). However, even in the presence of 100 mU/l insulin, the erythrocyte magnesium content of patients with Type 2 diabetes was lower than that of control subjects. The in vitro dose-response curve of the effect of insulin on magnesium erythrocyte accumulation was shifted to the right when red cells of diabetic patients were used, with a highly significant reduction of the maximal effect. Such reduction of the maximal effect of insulin suggests that the impairment of insulin-induced erythrocyte magnesium accumulation observed in Type 2 diabetic patients results essentially from a post-receptor defect.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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