Dysregulated Erythroid Mg2+ Efflux in Type 2 Diabetes

Ana Ferreira, Alicia Rivera, Jay G. Wohlgemuth, Jeffrey S. Dlott, L. Michael Snyder, Seth L. Alper, Jose R. Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Hyperglycemia is associated with decreased Mg2+ content in red blood cells (RBC), but mechanisms remain unclear. We characterized the regulation of Mg2+ efflux by glucose in ex vivo human RBC. We observed that hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) values correlated with Na+-dependent Mg2+ efflux (Na+/Mg2+ exchange) and inversely correlated with cellular Mg content. Treatment of cells with 50 mM D-glucose, but not with sorbitol, lowered total cellular Mg (2.2 ± 0.1 to 2.0 ± 0.1 mM, p < 0.01) and enhanced Na+/Mg2+ exchange activity [0.60 ± 0.09 to 1.12 ± 0.09 mmol/1013 cell × h (flux units, FU), p < 0.05]. In contrast, incubation with selective Src family kinase inhibitors PP2 or SU6656 reduced glucose-stimulated exchange activation (p < 0.01). Na+/Mg2+ exchange activity was also higher in RBC from individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D, 1.19 ± 0.13 FU) than from non-diabetic individuals (0.58 ± 0.05 FU, p < 0.01). Increased Na+/Mg2+ exchange activity in RBC from T2D subjects was associated with lower intracellular Mg content. Similarly increased exchange activity was evident in RBC from the diabetic db/db mouse model as compared to its non-diabetic control (p < 0.03). Extracellular exposure of intact RBC from T2D subjects to recombinant peptidyl-N-glycosidase F (PNGase F) reduced Na+/Mg2+ exchange activity from 0.98 ± 0.14 to 0.59 ± 0.13 FU (p < 0.05) and increased baseline intracellular Mg content (1.8 ± 0.1 mM) to normal values (2.1 ± 0.1 mM, p < 0.05). These data suggest that the reduced RBC Mg content of T2D RBC reflects enhanced RBC Na+/Mg2+ exchange subject to regulation by Src family kinases and by the N-glycosylation state of one or more membrane proteins. The data extend our understanding of dysregulated RBC Mg2+ homeostasis in T2D.
Original languageEnglish
Article number861644
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2022


  • Cell magnesium
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • IIon exchange
  • Ion flux
  • Ion transporter
  • Red blood cells


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