Intracellular (polymorphonuclear) magnesium content in patients with bronchial asthma between attacks

J R Soc Med. 1995 Aug;88(8):441-5.


Previous studies have demonstrated the role of polymorphonuclears in asthma, the importance of increases in intracellular concentrations of ionized calcium in the release of chemical mediators, the role of magnesium as natural calcium channel blocker, and the importance of magnesium deficiency in plasma histamine concentration and in tissue prostanoid concentration. The objective of our study was to measure the polymorphonuclear magnesium content in patients with asthma in the interval between attacks. We measured the polymorphonuclear magnesium content, and serum and erythrocyte sodium, calcium, and magnesium concentrations in 21 healthy volunteers and 50 patients with different types of asthma. In our patients, the polymorphonuclear magnesium content was lower than in the control group (P < 0.001), while magnesium levels in erythrocytes and serum and the levels of other ions in erythrocytes and serum were normal. This is the first report to document low polymorphonuclear magnesium content in patients with bronchial asthma. The reduction of polymorphonuclear magnesium content may have an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / blood*
  • Calcium / blood
  • Erythrocytes / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / chemistry*
  • Reference Values
  • Sodium / blood


  • Sodium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium