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Circulation. 1989 May;79(5):1118-24.

Effects of magnesium on the tone of isolated human coronary arteries. Comparison with diltiazem and nitroglycerin.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Kumamoto University Medical School, Japan.


To study the effects of magnesium (Mg2+) on human coronary arteries and to compare those effects with those of diltiazem and nitroglycerin, we measured the tension of ring segments from isolated human coronary arteries obtained at autopsy within 5 hours after death. Precontracted segments with 3 x 10(-6) M prostaglandin F2 alpha were studied after adding cumulative concentrations of these agents (1.0-8.0 mM, 10(-9)-10(-5) M, and 10(-10)-10(-6) M, respectively). Mg2+ significantly inhibited the tonic contraction compared with the time-matched controls at 1.0 and 2.0 mM (48.7 +/- 5.6% vs. 88.6 +/- 2.2%, p less than 0.01, 36.2 +/- 6.1% vs. 78.9 +/- 3.0%, p less than 0.01, respectively). 1.0 and 2.0 mM Mg2+ did not suppress, but actually increased, the amplitude of periodic contraction, but 8.0 mM Mg2+ reduced the amplitude compared with the controls (6.6 +/- 5.2% vs. 73.3 +/- 10.7%, p less than 0.01). Diltiazem at a concentration of 10(-5) M moderately inhibited the tonic contraction, and reduced the amplitude of periodic contraction almost completely. Nitroglycerin reduced the tonic contraction almost completely at a concentration of 10(-6) M but did not reduce the amplitude of periodic contraction at any concentration. We conclude that 1.0 and 2.0 mM Mg2+ inhibits the tonic contraction and that 8.0 mM Mg2+ inhibits the periodic as well as the tonic contraction of isolated human coronary arteries. Diltiazem inhibits the periodic contraction, whereas nitroglycerin suppresses tonic contraction without affecting the periodic contraction.

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