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Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2001;1(3):215-24.

Prenatal ethanol exposure alters ventricular myocyte contractile function in the offspring of rats: influence of maternal Mg2+ supplementation.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics, University of North Dakota School of Medicine, Grand Forks, ND 58203, USA.

Abstract

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is often associated with cardiac hypertrophy and impaired ventricular function in a manner similar to postnatal chronic alcohol ingestion. Chronic alcoholism has been shown to lead to hypomagnesemia, and dietary Mg2+ supplementation was shown to ameliorate ethanol- induced cardiovascular dysfunction such as hypertension. However, the role of gestational Mg2+ supplementation on FAS-related cardiac dysfunction is unknown. This study was conducted to examine the influence of gestational dietary Mg2+ supplementation on prenatal ethanol exposure-induced cardiac contractile response at the ventricular myocyte level. Timed-pregnancy female rats were fed from gestation day 2 with liquid diets containing 0.13 g/L Mg2+ supplemented with ethanol (36%) or additional Mg2+ (0.52 g/L), or both. The pups were maintained on standard rat chow through adulthood, and ventricular myocytes were isolated and stimulated to contract at 0.5 Hz. Mechanical properties were evaluated using an IonOptix soft-edge system, and intracellular Ca2+ transients were measured as changes in fura-2 fluorescence intensity (Delta FFI). Offspring from all groups displayed similar growth curves. Myocytes from the ethanol group exhibited reduced cell length, enhanced peak shortening (PS), and shortened time to 90% relengthening (TR90) associated with a normal Delta FFI and time to PS (TPS). Mg2+ reverted the prenatal ethanol-induced alteration in PS and maximal velocity of relengthening. However, it shortened TPS and TR90, and altered the Delta FFI, as well as Ca2+ decay rate by itself. Additionally, myocytes from the ethanol group exhibited impaired responsiveness to increased extracellular Ca2+ or stimulating frequency, which were restored by gestational Mg2+ supplementation. These data suggest that although gestational Mg2+ supplementation may be beneficial to certain cardiac contractile dysfunctions in offspring of alcoholic mothers, caution must be taken, as Mg2+ supplementation affects cell mechanics itself.

PMID:
12213974
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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