Baroreceptor modulation of cutaneous vasodilator and sudomotor responses to thermal stress in humans.

G. Mack, T. Nishiyasu, X. Shi

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71 Scopus citations


1. The influence of baroreceptor unloading on cutaneous vasodilatation was investigated in ten human subjects during dynamic supine cycle ergometer exercise at 28 degrees C. Increases in forearm skin blood flow (venous occlusion plethysmography) and arterial blood pressure (non‐invasive) were measured and used to calculate forearm vascular conductance while local chest sweating rate was measured by dew‐point hygrometry. Subjects performed two similar exercise protocols with and without baroreceptor unloading induced by application of ‐40 mmHg lower body negative pressure (LBNP). The LBNP condition was reversed (i.e. either removed or applied) after 15 min while exercise continued for an additional 20 min. 2. During exercise without LBNP, the body core temperature threshold for vasodilatation (measured as oesophageal temperature, Tc) averaged 37.06 +/‐ 0.12 degrees C (+/‐ S.E.M.) and increased to 37.30 +/‐ 0.09 degrees C (P < 0.05) during exercise with LBNP. The rate of rise of forearm vascular conductance (FVC) per unit increase in Tc (an expression of thermal sensitivity) and peak FVC at 15 min was significantly attenuated during baroreceptor unloading. These effects were rapidly reversed when LBNP was turned off. 3. Baroreceptor unloading during the first 15 min of exercise attenuated the local chest sweating rate, which was also reversed when LBNP was removed. 4. The time course and quickness in which baroreceptor unloading modulated thermoregulatory control of skin blood flow and local chest sweat rate suggests that the interaction between these two homeostatic mechanisms is primarily neurally mediated. The ability of baroreceptor activity to modulate both control of skin blood flow and sweating suggests a common site of interaction, more proximal than the effector organs, and involving the active vasodilator system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-547
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1995


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