Mg deficiency increased the water content of the liver, kidney, heart and thigh muscle in the rat and decreased the proportion of nitrogen in the dry matter of the same tissues. Changes in the concentration of metals also occurred. 2. Cellular fractional indicated that the Mg and K depleted in liver occurred primarily in the heavy-mitochondrial and microsomal fractions respectively. The calcification of liver and kidney was due to preferential deposition of Ca in the heavy-mitochondrial fraction. 3. The proportion of cellular nitrogen present in the heavy-mitochondrial and microsomal fractions was markedly decreased in the liver and kidney of the Mg-deficient rats, and the proportion in the supernatant fraction increased. 4. Electron microscopy revealed that the cross-sectional areas of liver cells and all their mitochondria were decreased in Mg deficiency. The number of mitochondrial per cell was decreased even more severely and the average area of a mitochondrion was greater in deficient rats than in control animals. 5. The significance of these observations is discussed in relation to the location of the primary metabolic disturbance during Mg deficiency.

This content is only available as a PDF.