Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) is widely used for the treatment of eclampsia. However, effects of Mg2+ in central cardiovascular regulation remain unclear. In the present study, the role of Mg2+ on cardiovascular regulation in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) of rats was examined.
Adult male Wistar rats were anesthetized with urethane, and artificially ventilated. The ventral surface of the medulla was exposed, and the RVLM was identified by microinjection (50 nl) of l-glutamate (l-Glu; 2 nmol). Then, MgSO4 (1, 3, 10 nmol, n = 7 for each dose) and magnesium chloride (MgCl2; 10 nmol, n = 7) were microinjected into the RVLM. l-Glu (2 nmol), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA; 20 pmol), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl isoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA; 5 pmol) and (1S,3R)-1-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid [(1S,3R)-ACPD, metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist; 1 nmol] were also microinjected with or without pretreatment of MgSO4 (10 nmol;n = 7 for each drug).
MgSO4 dose-dependently decreased mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR). The high dose of MgSO4 (10 nmol) significantly decreased MAP and HR (−25 ± 4 mmHg and −43 ± 6 bpm). Similarly, MgCl2 decreased MAP and HR (−27 ± 4 mmHg and −30 ± 6 bpm). The pressor response evoked by NMDA or (1S,3R)-ACPD was significantly attenuated by the pretreatment with MgSO4. In contrast, pressor response caused by l-Glu or AMPA was not affected by pretreatment with MgSO4.
These results suggest that Mg2+ has an inhibitory role on the RVLM neurons, and inhibits cardiovascular responses induced by NMDA and metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists.