Deficiency of magnesium with cardiovascular effects is thought to be related to alterations in the biosynthesis of prostaglandins (PGs) in the vasculature. Measurements were made of the PGE2, 6-keto-PGF1 alpha and thromboxane B2 (TxB2) outflow from the perfused isolated mesenteric arterial bed and the fatty acid composition of the tissue in rats maintained for 14 weeks on a low magnesium (LMg) diet. The serum Mg levels were significantly decreased and the serum Ca levels were significantly increased in the LMg group as compared to the controls. The arachidonic acid concentration in the triacylglyceride fraction was significantly increased in the LMg group. Long chain polyunsaturates such as 22:4n6 and 22:6n3 were consistently increased in the LMg rats as compared to the controls in both the phospholipid and triglyceride fractions as previously reported in other tissues. The PGE2, 6-keto-PGF1 alpha and TxB2 outflows were significantly increased in the LMg group as compared to the controls. These findings suggest that the biosynthesis of eicosanoids, mainly PGI2, is stimulated in Mg deficiency, and this may provide protection against intracellular Mg depletion and Ca accumulation, so as to counteract to the constricted and hyperreactive state of the vasculature in such a condition.