We investigated the hypotheses that norepinephrine stimulates Mg2+ efflux from intact isolated adult rat ventricular cardiomyocytes and that adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate stimulates Mg2+ efflux from permeabilized myocytes and isolated mitochondria. Norepinephrine stimulation of Mg2+ release from cardiac myocytes was observed only when cells at approximately 20 mg protein/ml in Mg(2+)-containing buffer were diluted 50- to 60-fold into an Mg(2+)-free medium. Under these conditions, > 30% of total cellular lactic acid dehydrogenase activity was also released, indicating that a significant portion of the cells had died. In other protocols, where Mg2+ efflux from myocytes was not observed, extracellular Mg2+ removal and administration of 10 microM norepinephrine increased 45Ca2+ accumulation by cells in suspension. In single myocytes, Mg2+ removal and norepinephrine administration increased intracellular free [Ca2+] as measured by fura-2 fluorescence microscopy, and this was accompanied by vigorous spontaneous contractile activity followed by Ca2+ overload hypercontracture. With permeabilized myocytes and isolated mitochondria from a variety of sources, adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate did not stimulate Mg2+ efflux. These results suggest that recent evidence for direct hormonal regulation of myocardial Mg2+ homeostasis may need to be reevaluated.
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