Mg2+ protects adult beating cardiomyocytes against ischaemia

Mahdieh Faghihi, Andriy Sukhodub, Sofija Jovanovic, Aleksandar Jovanovic

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    Although Mg2+ reduces infarct size in whole heart models of ischaemia/reperfusion, the cardioprotective effect of Mg2+ at the cellular level is still a controversial issue. Therefore, we tested whether Mg2+ protects cardiomyocytes against ischaemia. To accomplish this aim we used an experimental model of ischaemia that utilises single beating adult cardiomyocytes in which oxygen tension is tightly regulated without the use of oxygen scavengers or metabolic inhibitors. Taking all these into consideration, this model is probably closer to in vivo conditions than the majority of previously published cellular models of ischaemia. We found that the addition of extracellular Mg2+ (8 MM) increased the survival of cells exposed to ischaemia. As sarcolemma and mitochondria are end-effectors of cardioprotective signalling, we examined whether Mg2+ regulates sarcolemmal and mitochondrial events. Mg2+ (8 mM) did not affect the whole cell K+ current as revealed by patch clamp electrophysiology. Experiments with laser confocal microscopy and the mitochondrial membrane potential-sensitive dye, JC-1, showed that Mg2+ (8 mM) did not affect ischaemia-induced mitochondrial membrane depolarisation. However, a significantly lower JC-1 ratio was required to kill cells under control conditions than cells treated with Mg2+ (8 mM). Based on the obtained data, we conclude that Mg2+ protects single beating cardiomyocytes against ischaemia by increasing cellular resistance to the consequences of mitochondrial membrane depolarisation in the cytosol.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-73
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Medicine
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


    • magnesium
    • cardiomyocytes
    • ischaemia
    • cardioprotection
    • mitochondrial membrane potential
    • HEART
    • CA2+

    Cite this

    Faghihi, M., Sukhodub, A., Jovanovic, S., & Jovanovic, A. (2008). Mg2+ protects adult beating cardiomyocytes against ischaemia. International Journal of Molecular Medicine, 21(1), 69-73.