To clarify the effect of extracellular magnesium (Mg2+) on the vascular reactivity of feline isolated middle cerebral arteries, the effects of slight alterations in the Mg2+ concentration on the contractile and endothelium-dependent dilatory responses were investigated in vitro. The contractions, induced by 10-8-10-5 M norepinephrine, were significantly potentiated at low Mg2+ (0.8 mM v. the normal, 1.2mM). High (1.6 and 2.0 mM) Mg2+ exhibited an inhibitory effect on the contractile responses. No significant changes, however, in the EC50 values for norepinephrine were found. The endothelium-dependent relaxations induced by 10-8-10-5 M acetylcholine were inhibited by high (1.6 and 2.0 mM) Mg2+. Lowering of the Mg2+ concentration to 0.8 mM or total withdrawal of this ion from the medium failed to alter the dilatory potency of acetylcholine. The changes in the dilatory responses also shifted the EC50 values for acetylcholine to the right. The present results show that the contractile responses of the cerebral arteries are extremely susceptible to the changes of Mg2+ concentrations. In response to contractile and endothelium-dependent dilatory agonists, Mg2+ probably affects both the calcium influx into the endothelial and smooth muscle cells as well as the binding of acetylcholine to its endothelial receptor. Since Mg2+ deficiency might facilitate the contractile but not the endothelium-dependent relaxant responses, the present study supports a role for Mg2+ deficiency in the development of the cerebral vasospasm.
- Cerebrovascular smooth muscle
- Endothelium-dependent relaxation
- Extra-cellular magnesium
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism