Effect of magnesium deficiency on renal magnesium and calcium transport in the rat

J Clin Invest. 1980 Jan;65(1):180-8. doi: 10.1172/JCI109649.


Recollection of micropuncture experiments were performed on acutely thyroparathyroidectomized rats rendered magnesium deficient by dietary deprivation. Urinary magnesium excretion fell from a control of 15 to 3% of the filtered load after magnesium restriction. The loop of Henle, presumably the thick ascending limb, was the major modulator for renal magnesium homeostasis. The transport capacity for magnesium, however, was less in deficient rats than control animals. Absolute magnesium reabsorption increased with acute infusions of magnesium chloride but was always less in magnesium-deficient rats than control rats for any given filtered load, which suggests either a defect of a resetting of the reabsorption mechanism. Recollection micropuncture demonstrated that this was a characteristic of the loop of Henle. Proximal magnesium reabsorption remained unchanged at 15% of the filtered load and was unaffected by magnesium deficiency or acute magnesium repletion. Distal tubular magnesium reabsorption was limited during depletion and increased to a similar extent in control and deficient rats with enhanced magnesium delivery. Calcium reabsorption was not altered in magnesium deficiency; however, elevations of extracellular magnesium resulted in a specific inhibition of calcium reabsorption within the loop of Henle. These data suggest that overall control of renal magnesium reabsorption occurs within the loop of Henle and that the proximal tubule reabsorbs a constant fraction of the filtered load despite variations in body magnesium status.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney Tubules, Distal / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism
  • Loop of Henle / metabolism
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Rats


  • Phosphates
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium