The effect of chronic alcohol administration on blood pressure was investigated in 7-week-old Wistar rats. Tail-cuff blood pressure was significantly higher in rats who received 15% ethanol in drinking water than in control rats. Intracellular free calcium concentration of lymphocytes was increased, while magnesium concentration of erythrocyte, aorta, and skeletal muscle and erythrocyte ouabain-sensitive 22Na efflux rate constant (Kos) were decreased in alcohol-induced hypertensive rats but not in control rats. Extracellular fluid volume was also increased in alcohol-administered rats. Oral magnesium supplementation (1% MgO in rat chow) attenuated the development of alcohol-induced hypertension accompanied by increased magnesium concentration of erythrocyte, aorta, skeletal muscle, and Kos and decreased intraerythrocyte sodium concentration. Norepinephrine half-life time of the heart and spleen was also increased in magnesium-supplemented rats. Blood pressure significantly correlated positively with intracellular calcium concentration and extracellular fluid volume, negatively with magnesium concentration of erythrocyte, aorta, skeletal muscle, and Kos. These results suggest that increased intracellular calcium, which was partly due to magnesium depletion and suppressed sodium pump activity, and expanded body fluid volume had a possible role in the development of alcohol-induced hypertension. It is also suggested that oral magnesium supplementation had a hypotensive effect on alcohol-induced hypertension possibly through decreased intracellular sodium concentration caused by an activation of sodium pump and decreased sympathetic nervous activity.

Hsieh ST, Sano H, Saito K, Kubota Y, Yokoyama M
Hypertension 1992 Feb;19(2):175-82
PMID: 1737652