Magnesium deficiency differentially affects the retina and visual cortex of intact rats

Yoshinobu Goto, Akiko Furuta, Shozo Tobimatsu

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15 Citations (Scopus)


To determine the influence of magnesium (Mg) on the visual system, electroretinograms (ERG) and visual evoked potentials (VEP) were recorded under dark(DA) and light-adapted (LA) conditions in intact rats. Weanling rats were fed either a Mg-deficient (Mg-D) or a control diet for 17 d before the tests, and ERG, VEP and immunohistopathological analyses of retinae and cortices were made. In the Mg-D rats, ear congestion, hair loss and loss of body weight were observed, and serum Mg concentration was ∼25% of that in the control rats (P < 0.01). The amplitudes of the DA a-wave and the second positive peak of the oscillatory potentials (OP2) of the ERG, and the negative component of the VEP (N1) in Mg-D rats were significantly greater than those of control rats. However, the amplitudes of the DA b-wave, LA 2 Hz b-wave, the 20 Hz flicker responses and the implicit times of all response components did not differ between the two groups. The immunohistopathologic results also were not altered in the Mg-D rats. We suggest that the functional abnormalities induced by Mg deficiency may depend not only on the hyperactivity of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, but also on the behavior of the Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions in the intact eye.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2378-2381
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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