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Life Sci. 2011 Apr 11;88(15-16):658-63. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2011.01.027. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Chronic magnesium deficiency decreases tolerance to hypoxia/reoxygenation injury in mouse heart.

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Department of Physiology, Juntendo University Faculty of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan.



Magnesium (Mg) deficiency has been reported to be associated with the development of the metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and sudden death. We examined the influence of chronic Mg deficiency on cardiac tolerance to hypoxia/reoxygenation injury.


Mice were fed an Mg-deficient diet for 4 weeks, and then their hearts were excised for Langendorff perfusion experiments. The levels of total Mg in the blood and heart were quantified by atomic absorption spectrometry.


In Mg-deficient mice, the Mg concentration in whole blood was markedly decreased; however, that in the heart remained unchanged. When the hearts of control mice were exposed to hypoxia/reoxygenation, removal of extracellular Mg from a normal Krebs solution containing 1.2 mM Mg resulted in a significant decrease in the recovery of the tension-rate product (TRP) upon reoxygenation. In Mg-deficient mice, the recovery of TRP in the heart was reduced significantly in the absence of extracellular Mg compared to that in controls. The addition of Mg to the perfusate did not improve TRP recovery. During hypoxia/reoxygenation, cardiac damage evaluated by myocardial aspartate amino transferase (AST) release was greater in hearts of Mg-deficient mice than in that of control mice.


These results indicate that chronic Mg deficiency causes severe hypomagnesemia and a decrease in cardiac tolerance to hypoxia, without changing the intracellular Mg content. The decreased tolerance to hypoxia was not affected by the presence or absence of extracellular Mg, suggesting that some intracellular metabolic abnormalities develop in the cardiac myocytes of Mg-deficient mice.

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