Regional influence of nitric oxide on cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating during exercise-heat stress in young men

Exp Physiol. 2020 May;105(5):773-782. doi: 10.1113/EP088388. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Abstract

New findings: What is the central question of this study? Do regional differences exist in nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-dependent cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating during exercise-heat stress in young men. What is the main finding and its importance? Exercise-induced increases in cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating were greater on the chest and upper back compared to the forearm, although the NOS contribution to cutaneous vasodilatation was similar across all regions. Conversely, there was a greater NOS-dependent rate of change in sweating on the chest compared to the forearm, with a similar trend on the back.

Abstract: While it is established that nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is an important modulator of forearm cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating during an exercise-heat stress in young men, it remains unclear if regional differences exist in this response. In 15 habitually active young men (24 ± 4 (SD) years), cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) and local sweat rate (LSR) were assessed at three body regions. On each of the dorsal forearm, chest and upper-back (trapezius), sites were continuously perfused with either (1) lactated Ringer solution (control) or (2) 10 Mm Nω -nitro-l-arginine (l-NNA, NOS inhibitor), via microdialysis. Participants rested in the heat (35°C) for ∼75 min, followed by 60 min of semi-recumbent cycling performed at a fixed rate of heat production of 200 W m-2 (equivalent to ∼42% V ̇ O 2 peak ). During exercise, the chest and upper-back regions showed higher CVC and LSR responses relative to the forearm (all P < 0.05). Within each region, l-NNA attenuated CVC and LSR relative to control (all P < 0.05). However, the NOS contribution was not different across regions for the rate of change and plateau for CVC or for the LSR plateau (all P > 0.05). Conversely, there was a greater NOS contribution to the rate of change for LSR at the chest relative to the forearm (P < 0.05) with a similar trend for the back. In habitually active young men, NOS-dependent cutaneous vasodilatation was similar across regions while the NOS contribution to LSR was greater on the chest relative to the forearm. These findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms influencing regional variations in cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating during an exercise-heat stress.

Keywords: core temperature; eccrine gland; exercise-heat stress; heat loss; skin blood flow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't