The present study was performed to determine the effects of magnesium (Mg) deficiency upon plasma lipoproteins and hepatic apolipoprotein gene expression in the rat. The most obvious effect of Mg-deficiency on plasma lipids is a marked increase in post-prandial triacylglycerol concentration. This increased triglyceridemia persists in fasted rats. Density gradient ultracentrifugation analysis revealed marked alterations in the distribution of plasma lipoproteins in Mg-deficient rats. An increase in triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins (TGRLP) was associated with a significant increase in plasma apolipoprotein B (apo B) concentration and was accompanied by selective accumulation of apo B-48. A decrease in high-density lipoproteins (HDL) was accompanied by a corresponding decrease in plasma apo E concentration and a concordant decrease in hepatic apo E mRNA abundance and biosynthesis. Hepatic apo B-100 synthesis was reduced by over 75% in Mg-deficient animals despite an increase in hepatic apo B mRNA abundance. However, this change in hepatic apo B gene expression was not associated with alterations in posttranscriptional apo B mRNA editing. These changes in apolipoprotein gene expression were associated with increased hepatic lipogenesis, despite the observation that net triacylglycerol secretion rates were not different between Mg-deficient and control animals. Taken together, the data demonstrate a complex pattern of alterations in hepatic lipid metabolism and apolipoprotein gene expression in the Mg-deficient rat and suggest a defect in the catabolism rather than secretion of TGRRP as the major factor underlying the altered plasma lipoprotein profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Lipids and Lipid Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 13 1995


  • (Rat)
  • Apolipoprotein
  • Gene expression
  • Lipoprotein
  • Liver
  • Magnesium


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