Sustained increases in skin blood flow are not a pre-requisite to initiate sweating during passive heat exposure
Series/Report no.American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology;Vol. 313, no 2
Some studies have observed a functional relationship between sweating and skin blood flow. However, the implications of this relationship during physiologically relevant conditions remain unclear. We manipulated sudomotor activity through changes in sweating efficiency to determine if parallel changes in vasomotor activity are observed. Eight young men completed two trials at 36°C and two trials at 42°C. During these trials, air temperature remained constant while ambient vapor pressure increased from 1.6 to 5.6 kPa over 2 h. Forced airflow across the skin was used to create conditions of high (HiSeff) or low (LoSeff) sweating efficiency. Local sweat rate (LSR), local skin blood flow (SkBF), as well as mean skin and esophageal temperatures were measured continuously. It took longer for LSR to increase during HiSeff at 36°C (HiSeff: 99 ± 11 vs. LoSeff: 77 ± 11 min, P < 0.01) and 42°C (HiSeff: 72 ± 16 vs. LoSeff: 51 ± 15 min, P < 0.01). In general, an increase in LSR preceded the increase in SkBF when expressed as ambient vapor pressure and time for all conditions (P < 0.05). However, both responses were activated at a similar change in mean body temperature (average across all trials, LSR: 0.26 ± 0.15 vs. SkBF: 0.30 ± 0.18°C, P = 0.26). These results demonstrate that altering the point at which LSR is initiated during heat exposure is paralleled by similar shifts for the increase in SkBF. However, local sweat production occurs before an increase in SkBF, suggesting that SkBF is not necessarily a prerequisite for sweating.
Ravanelli N, Jay O, Gagnon D. Sustained increases in skin blood flow are not a pre-requisite to initiate sweating during passive heat exposure. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2017 May 31. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00033.2017. [Epub ahead of print]