Tchanges in cytoplasmic magnesium concentration in the millimolar rangent are known to evoke directionally opposite changes in the amplitude of cardiac L-type calcium current, but the effects of magnesium changes in the micromolar range are not known. This concentration range is particularly interesting for two reasons: Open-channel block of some ion channels (eg, the inward rectifier) occurs with a micromolar Kd and magnesium at such low levels may limit the availability of magnesium adenosine triphosphate (MgATP) and magnesium guanidine triphosphate (MgGTP) for a variety of enzymatic processes, including calcium channel phosphorylation. To investigate the effects of critical magnesium depletion and its sudden reversal, we used flash photolysis to liberate magnesium from intracellular DM-nitrophen in guinea pig heart cells. Under our conditions, intracellular [Mg2+] changed from 0.25 μmol/L before the flash to ≤ 200 μmol/L afterwards. Calcium channel currents carried by either calcium or barium consistently increased after flash, a directional change opposite to the reported effects of elevated [Mg2+] in the millimolar range. Our data do not yet enable us to understand the basis of the magnesium effect, but we are particularly interested in the possibility that the sudden appearance of magnesium enables calcium channel phosphorylation.
- Magnesium calcium ventricular myocytes flash photolysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine