Barium chloride dihydrate is a soluble inorganic salt of barium and a source of toxic and neuronally active Ba2+ ions. Barium chloride produces excitatory effects on neuronal signaling through mobilization of intracellular Ca2+. This has been correlated to causing increases in potential difference and short-circuit currents in stripped sheets of rat intestine with subsequent effects on intestinal secretion. The toxic effects of Ba2+ are mediated through neuronal excitation, and sub-toxic administration of Barium Chloride produces arrhythmias in animals. Barium Chloride-promoted arrhythmias have been employed in studies investigating antiarrhythmic compounds. Barium Chloride demonstrates selective inhibition of MMP-2 (matrix metalloproteinase 2), suggested to proceed through displacement by Ba2+ of a Ca2+ ion at the catalytic center of MMP-2.
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