The influence of oral magnesium sulfate on skin microvasculature blood flow in diabetic rats

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 Oct;143(1):344-50. doi: 10.1007/s12011-010-8842-7. Epub 2010 Sep 21.


Microvascular disease is a major feature of type1 diabetes and results from long-standing structural and functional changes especially in the skin microvasculature. Magnesium (Mg) deficiency has recently been proposed as a novel factor implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes complications such as vascular disturbance, but its mechanism of action is not completely elucidated. The present study was designed to determine whether chronic magnesium sulfate administration could control streptozocin-induced diabetes and improve endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent dilatation, and identify its probable mechanism in the skin microvasculature of diabetic rats. Fifty male Wistar rats (220 ± 10 g) were divided into two diabetic and one control groups. One subgroup of diabetic received magnesium sulfate (10 g/l) in their drinking water, while two other groups had only tap water. Laser Doppler flow meter with iontophoresis was used to measure the relative changes in skin blood flow. We used acetylcholine (Ach), sodium nitroprusside (SNP), and N (w)-nitro-L-arginine (LNNA; NO synthase inhibitor) with magnesium sulfate (0.1 M) in control and experimental animal by microsyringe pump microinjection. SNP- and Ach-induced cutaneous perfusion increased significantly by Mg treatment in the diabetic groups, and local microinjection of magnesium sulfate (0.1 M) increased cutaneous blood flow in all groups (p < 0.01). However, the administration of LNNA prior to magnesium sulfate attenuated (p < 0.05) but not abolished the increase in cutaneous blood flow in diabetic and normal rats. From the results of this study, it may be concluded that Mg could improve skin microvasculature of diabetic rats with potentiation of nitric oxide pathway.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Magnesium Sulfate / administration & dosage
  • Magnesium Sulfate / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Microvessels / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Skin / blood supply*


  • Magnesium Sulfate