First paper for Lujain Almousa


Former PhD student Lujain Almousa (on right in picture, graduated July 2018) has had her first paper accepted for publication in Magnesium Research. The paper, entitled, ‘Varying magnesium concentration elicits changes in inflammatory response in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs)‘ is the first in a series of three papers arising from her PhD project, which has given some interesting insights into the impact of magnesium on the function of the vascular endothelium.

The abstract of the paper is below.

The aims of this study were to determine whether low concentrations of magnesium invitroexacerbatedthe human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) response to inflammatory challenge, and whether expressionof the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) through the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) played a role in this process. HUVECs were incubated with different concentrations of Mg (low- 0.1mM, control- 1mM, high- 5mM) for 72 h before being stimulated with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 4 h. The response of cells to LPS was greater in cells cultured in low Mg, relative to control cells and suppressed in high Mg. Expression of NF-κB was increased in low-Mg and decreased with high Mg. Low Mg increased the expression of TLR4 mRNA, but only in the presence of LPS. Antibody blockade of TLR4 but not TLR2 blunted the reponse of cells to LPS in low Mg, such that they were similar to unblocked 1mM Mg cells. Associations of Mg with cardiovascular disease may therefore relate to inflammatory responses mediated through the TLR4/NF-κB pathway.


New PhD student

We are delighted to welcome Ellen Ward as a new PhD student. Ellen will be starting on October 1st and will be a part of the University of Nottingham-Adelaide joint PhD partnership programme. Like Sally Draycott, Ellen will be co-supervised by myself and Matt Elmes in the UK and Bev Muhlhausler in Adelaide. Her project is entitled, ‘maternal diet and the composition of breast milk: impact of reducing sugar and fat consumption’.