Regional contributions of nitric oxide synthase to cholinergic cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating in young men

Exp Physiol. 2020 Feb;105(2):236-243. doi: 10.1113/EP088295. Epub 2020 Jan 19.

Abstract

New findings: What is the central question of this study? We evaluated whether regional variations exist in NO-dependent cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating during cholinergic stimulation. What is the main finding and its importance? Peak cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating were greater on the torso than the forearm. Furthermore, we found that NO was an important modulator of cholinergic cutaneous vasodilatation, but not sweating, across body regions, with a greater contribution of NO to cutaneous vasodilatation in the limb compared with the torso. These findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms influencing regional variations in cutaneous vasodilator and sweating responses to pharmacological stimulation.

Abstract: Regional variations in cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating exist across the body. Nitric oxide (NO) is an important modulator of these heat loss responses in the forearm. However, whether regional differences in NO-dependent cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating exist remain uncertain. In 14 habitually active young men (23 ± 4 years of age), cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC%max ) and local sweat rates were assessed at six skin sites. On each of the dorsal forearm, chest and upper back (trapezius), sites were continuously perfused with either lactated Ringer solution (control) or 10 mm Nω -nitro-l-arginine (l-NNA; an NO synthase inhibitor) dissolved in Ringer solution, via microdialysis. At all sites, cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating were induced by co-administration of the cholinergic agonist methacholine (1, 10, 100, 1000 and 2000 mm; 25 min per dose) followed by 50 mm sodium nitroprusside (20-25 min) to induce maximal vasodilatation. The l-NNA attenuated CVC%max relative to the control conditions for all regions (all P < 0.05), and NO-dependent vasodilatation was greater at the forearm compared with the back and chest (both P < 0.05). Furthermore, maximal vasodilatation was higher at the back and chest relative to the forearm (both P < 0.05). Conversely, l-NNA had negligible effects on sweating across the body (all P > 0.05). Peak local sweat rate was higher at the back relative to the forearm (P < 0.05), with a similar trend observed for the chest. In habitually active young men, NO-dependent cholinergic cutaneous vasodilatation varied across the body, and the contribution to cholinergic sweating was negligible. These findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms influencing regional variations in cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating during pharmacological stimulation.

Keywords: acetylcholine; heat loss; microdialysis; muscarinic receptors; thermoregulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't