This study investigated the effect of magnesium on the vascular reactivity of conduit and resistance arteries in a nitric oxide synthase inhibition-induced hypertension model. The aorta and third-order branches of the mesenteric artery were dissected from normotensive control and hypertensive rats, and their constriction and dilation responses in physiological saline solution containing normal (1.2 mM) or high (4.8 mM) magnesium concentrations were examined. The responses of the vessels were evaluated using potassium chloride (KCl) and phenylephrine (Phe), acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside. The Phe-induced constriction response of the aortic rings increased, whereas the ACh-induced dilation response decreased, in the hypertensive group compared to controls, in the presence of a normal magnesium concentration. High magnesium did not alter these responses in either group. Both the KCl- and Phe-induced constriction responses of the mesenteric arteries increased, and the ACh-induced dilation response decreased in the hypertensive group compared to controls, in the presence of a normal magnesium concentration. High magnesium significantly decreased the KCl and Phe-induced constriction and increased the ACh-induced dilation response of the mesenteric arteries in the hypertensive group, while it did not alter these responses in controls. This study suggests that high magnesium improves vascular reactivity of resistance-, but not conduit-type arteries in the nitric oxide synthase inhibition-induced hypertension model.