The effects of phosphate depletion on magnesium (Mg) homeostasis were evaluated in rats fed a diet containing 0.03% phosphorus for periods up to 8 wk. Plasma phosphorus fell significantly (P < 0.01) from 10.1±0.27 (SE) to 5.0±0.54 mg/100 ml within 1 day and continued to fall gradually to a level of 1.2±0.21 mg/100 ml by the end of the 8th wk. A significant (P < 0.01) increment in urinary Mg excretion (UMgV) from 46±2.7 to 126±24 μeq/24 h occurred during the 1st day of phosphate depletion; UMgV reached a peak of 300±24 μeq/24 h by the 3rd day and remained high ranging between 150-300 μeq/24 h, thereafter. The magnitude of the magnesuria was related to the degree of hypophosphatemia and was not affected by lowering the calcium intake and reducing the hypercalciuria. The concentration of plasma Mg fell significantly (P < 0.01) from 1.2±0.02 to 0.79±0.10 meq/liter by the 1st day of the study and remained low throughout.