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Eur J Pharmacol. 1991 Oct 15;203(2):223-35.

Interactions of magnesium and chloride ions on tone and contractility of vascular muscle.

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Department of Physiology, State University of New York, Brooklyn, 11203.


Replacement of extracellular chloride ions ([Cl-]o) by other anions, on contractility and the effects of extracellular magnesium ions ([Mg2+]o) on spontaneous mechanical activity, as well as on agonist-induced responses of rat aorta and portal vein, were studied. Replacement of [Cl-]o with acetate (Ac-) or isethionate (Ise-) ions resulted in an increase and decrease, respectively, of the spontaneous mechanical activity frequency in portal vein; the amplitudes of the spontaneous mechanical activity were attenuated by Ac- and Ise- substitution. Withdrawal of [Mg2+]o in Cl(-)-containing media resulted in elevation of tension development in rat aortas, whereas a similar maneuver in media with Ac- or Ise-, substituted for [Cl-]o, resulted in abrogation of this tension development. Use of disulfonic stilbene anion-channel blockers, DIDS (4,4'-diisothiocyano-2,2'-stilbene disulfonate, 400-600 microM) and SITS (4,4'-acetamido-4'-isothiocyano-2,2'-stilbene disulfonic acid, 400-600 microM), failed to influence either spontaneous mechanical activity or basal tone of rat portal portal vein or aortas. Incubation of DIDS or SITS in Mg(2+)-free media also failed to influence mechanical responses to withdrawal of [Mg2+]o. Use of the Cl- cation transport inhibitor bumetanide (30-80 microM) also failed to alter spontaneous mechanical activity or basal tone in either the presence or absence of [Mg2+]o. Ac- and Ise- substitution attenuated norepinephrine- and K(+)-induced contractile responses in portal vein and aorta, Caffeine-induced contractions of aortas were potentiated by withdrawal of [Mg2+]o in Cl(-)-containing media but inhibited in Ac(-)- or Ise(-)-substituted solutions. In the presence of [Mg2+]o, substitution of foreign anions resulted in alterations in the agonist contractile dose-response curves; EC50s were increased whereas maximum tensions were depressed. Withdrawal of [Mg2+]o amplified these effects. Substitution of Ac- or Ise- for [Cl-]o in the presence or absence of [Mg2+]o depressed contractions induced by Ca acetate in aortas and portal vein. These results suggest that: (1) Cl- plays an important role in regulating spontaneous mechanical activity, basal tone, and contractility in rat aorta and portal vein; and (2) Cl- probably physiologically mediates some of the effects and actions of [Mg2+]o on intracellular release of and influx of Ca2+ in these smooth muscles.

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