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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Characterization of magnesium-induced urinary disease in the cat and comparison with feline urologic syndrome.

Aggregates of struvite crystals caused urethral obstruction in a high percentage of cats fed moist and dry diets supplemented with Mg oxide. Some of the diets were associated with cystolith formation as well. The percentage of Mg in the experimental diets was a misleading indicator of Mg intake because of differences between moist and dry diets in their caloric density. Magnesium homeostasis was maintained in cats ingesting large quantities of Mg. Tissue (kidney, muscle, and rib) concentrations of Mg were the same in cats fed high Mg and control diets. Plasma Mg concentration was increased only in cats ingesting the largest amount of Mg. Magnesium homeostasis was maintained by a marked increase in urine Mg excretion. However, urine Mg concentration was not directly related to Mg intake, apparently because of differences between diets in intestinal absorption of Mg. Urethral obstruction of experimental cats was not associated with a transient increase in Mg intake, nor did obstructing cats have higher urine Mg concentrations than did nonobstructing cats fed the same diet. This observation indicates that factor(s) other than urine Mg concentration are important in urethral obstruction. Cats with urethral obstruction due to naturally occurring disease, feline urological syndrome (FUS), had markedly lower urine Mg concentrations than cats fed high Mg diets. This finding refutes the theory that cats develop FUS because of primary Mg hyperabsorptive phenomena or because of a primary urinary leak of Mg. It also indicates that factors other than urine Mg concentration are involved in the genesis of naturally occurring urethral obstruction. Another difference between the natural and the induced disease was related to the character of the urinary precipitates. Experimental diets higher in Mg concentration caused urolith formation, which is uncommon with FUS. Lower Mg diets caused obstruction with aggregates of crystals, but mucus was not observed. However, in the experimental disease induced in the present study, urinary precipitates were predominantly or exclusively struvite, as has been reported in the natural disease. Many similarities were seen between the diet-induced disease and FUS, but factors in addition to Mg intake are involved in the natural disease. The importance of Mg, compared with the undefined factors, remains to be established.[1]


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