Disorders of Magnesium: Physiology

  • Alluru S. ReddiEmail author


Magnesium (Mg2+) is the second most common intracellular cation next to K+ in the body. A 70-kg individual has approximately 25 g of Mg2+. About 67 % of this Mg2+ is present in bone, about 20 % in muscle, and 12 % in other tissues such as the liver. Only 1–2 % is present in the extracellular space. In plasma, Mg2+ exists as free (60 %) and bound (40 %) forms. About 10 % is bound to HCO3 , citrate, and phosphate and 30 % to albumin. Only the free and nonprotein-bound Mg2+ is filtered at the glomerulus. Mg2+ plays an essential role in cellular metabolism. It is involved in activation of enzymes such as phosphokinases and phosphatases. Mg-ATPase is also involved in the hydrolysis of ATP and thus the generation of energy that is utilized in several ion-pump activities. In addition, Mg2+ plays a critical role in protein synthesis and cell volume regulation. Because of its pivotal role in cellular physiology, Mg2+ deficiency adversely affects many cellular functions.


Magnesium Magnesium homeostasis Thick ascending limb of Henle’s loop (TALH) Distal convoluted tubule (DCT) Magnesium and cellular metabolism 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine Division of Nephrology and HypertensionRutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkUSA

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