Intradermal Administration of Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Attenuates Cutaneous Vasodilation but Not Sweating in Young Men during Exercise in the Heat

Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2020;33(2):86-93. doi: 10.1159/000505300. Epub 2020 Jan 31.


Introduction: Prolonged exercise in the heat stimulates plasma release of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) in association with dehydration-induced reductions in blood volume. Elevated plasma ANP levels under these conditions may indirectly attenuate cutaneous blood flow and sweating responses due to the effects of this hormone on central blood volume and plasma osmolality and the resulting stimulation of nonthermal reflexes. However, it remains unclear whether cutaneous blood flow and sweating are directly modulated by ANP at the level of the cutaneous end organs (cutaneous microvessels and eccrine sweat glands) during prolonged exercise in the heat.

Objective: Therefore, we evaluated the effects of local ANP administration on forearm cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) and local sweat rate (LSR) during rest and exercise in the heat.

Methods: In 9 habitually active young men (26 ± 6 years) CVC and LSR were evaluated at 3 intradermal microdialysis sites continuously perfused with lactated Ringer solution (control) or ANP (0.1 or 1.0 μM). Participants rested in a non-heat-stress condition (25°C) for approximately 60 min followed by 70 min in the heat (35°C). They then performed 50 min of moderate-intensity cycling (approx. 55% VO2 peak), with a 30-min recovery. Thereafter, 50 mM sodium nitroprusside was administered at all sites to elicit maximum CVC, which was subsequently used to normalize all values (CVC%max).

Results: No effects of ANP on CVC%max were observed in the non-heat-stress resting condition compared to the untreated control site (both p > 0.05). Conversely during rest in the heat there was an 11% (5-17%) reduction in CVC%max at the 1.0 μM ANP site relative to the untreated control site (p < 0.05). At the end of exercise CVC%max was attenuated by 12% (1-23%) at the 0.1 μM ANP site and by 21% (7-35%) at the 1.0 μM ANP site relative to the untreated control site (all p < 0.05). Conversely, neither concentration of ANP influenced sweating at any time point (all p > 0.05).

Conclusion: Intradermal ANP administration directly attenuated cutaneous blood flow, but not sweating, in habitually active young men during rest and exercise in the heat.

Keywords: Dehydration; Microcirculation; Skin blood flow; Sweating; Thermoregulation.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / blood
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / pharmacology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Forearm / physiopathology*
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena / drug effects*
  • Sweating / drug effects*
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*


  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor