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Abstract Title:

Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment.

Abstract Source:

Neuropharmacology. 2011 Aug 4. Epub 2011 Aug 4. PMID: 21835188

Abstract Author(s):

Sb Sartori, N Whittle, A Hetzenauer, N Singewald

Article Affiliation:

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Pharmacy, Centre for Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck (CMBI), University of Innsbruck, Peter-Mayr-Strasse 1, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Abstract:

Preclinical and some clinical studies suggest a relationship between perturbation in magnesium (Mg(2+)) homeostasis and pathological anxiety, although the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Since there is evidence that Mg(2+) modulates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, we tested whether enhanced anxiety-like behaviour can be reliably elicited by dietary Mg(2+) deficiency and whether Mg(2+) deficiency is associated with altered HPA axis function. Compared with controls, Mg(2+) deficient mice did indeed display enhanced anxiety-related behaviour in a battery of established anxiety tests. The enhanced anxiety-related behaviour of Mg(2+) deficient mice was sensitive to chronic desipramine treatment in the hyponeophagia test and to acute diazepam treatment in the open arm exposure test. Mg(2+) deficiency caused an increase in the transcription of the corticotropin releasing hormone in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN), which coincided with elevated ACTH plasma levels, pointing to an enhanced set-point of the HPA axis. Chronic treatment with desipramine reversed the identified abnormalities of the stress axis. Functional mapping of neuronal activity revealed hyper-excitability in the PVN of anxious Mg(2+) deficient mice and its normalisation through diazepam treatment. Overall, the present findings demonstrate the robustness and validity of the Mg(2+) deficiency model as a mouse model of enhanced anxiety, showing sensitivity to treatment with anxiolytics and antidepressants. It is further suggested that dysregulations in the HPA axis may contribute to the hyper-emotionality in response to dietary induced hypomagnesaemia. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Anxiety and Depression'.

Study Type : Animal Study

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Sayer Ji
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