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The Response of the Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cell Transcriptome to Variation in Magnesium Concentration

Almousa, Lujain A.; Salter, Andrew M.; Castellanos, Marcos; May, Sean T.; Langley-Evans, Simon C.


Lujain A. Almousa

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Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry

Marcos Castellanos


Vascular endothelial cells have a critical role in the maintenance of cardiovascular function. Evidence suggests that endothelial function may be compromised under conditions of magnesium deficiency, which increases vulnerability to inflammation. Whole genome transcription analysis was used to explore the acute (24 h) effects of magnesium on human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC) cultured in low (0.1 mM) or high (5 mM) concentrations. With low magnesium 2728 transcripts were differentially expressed compared to the 1 mM control cultures and 3030 were differentially expressed with high magnesium. 615 transcripts were differentially expressed under both conditions, of which only 34 showed a concentration-dependent response. Analysis indicated that cellular organisation and biogenesis and key cellular processes such as apoptosis were impacted by both low and high conditions. High magnesium also influenced protein binding functions, intracellular signal transduction, metabolic and catalytic processes. Both conditions impacted on stress-related processes, in particular the inflammatory response. Key mediators of calcium-dependent regulation of gene expression were responsive to both high and low magnesium conditions. The HUVEC transcriptome is highly sensitive to acute changes in the concentration of magnesium in culture medium. The findings of this study support the view that whilst inflammation is an important process that is responsive to magnesium, the function of the endothelium may be impacted by other magnesium-induced changes including maintenance of cellular integrity, receptor expression and metabolic functions. The high proportion of transcripts that did not show a concentration-dependent response suggests variation in magnesium may elicit indirect changes, possibly mediated by other ions.


Almousa, L. A., Salter, A. M., Castellanos, M., May, S. T., & Langley-Evans, S. C. (2022). The Response of the Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cell Transcriptome to Variation in Magnesium Concentration. Nutrients, 14(17), Article 3586.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 29, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2022
Publication Date Sep 1, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 3, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 5, 2022
Journal Nutrients
Electronic ISSN 2072-6643
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 17
Article Number 3586
Keywords magnesium, vascular endothelium, microarray, transcriptome
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