Characterization of age-associated gene expression changes in mouse sweat glands

Aging (Albany NY). 2024 Apr 17;16(8):6717-6730. doi: 10.18632/aging.205776. Epub 2024 Apr 17.


Evaporation of sweat on the skin surface is the major mechanism for dissipating heat in humans. The secretory capacity of sweat glands (SWGs) declines during aging, leading to heat intolerance in the elderly, but the mechanisms responsible for this decline are poorly understood. We investigated the molecular changes accompanying SWG aging in mice, where sweat tests confirmed a significant reduction of active SWGs in old mice relative to young mice. We first identified SWG-enriched mRNAs by comparing the skin transcriptome of Eda mutant Tabby male mice, which lack SWGs, with that of wild-type control mice by RNA-sequencing analysis. This comparison revealed 171 mRNAs enriched in SWGs, including 47 mRNAs encoding 'core secretory' proteins such as transcription factors, ion channels, ion transporters, and trans-synaptic signaling proteins. Among these, 28 SWG-enriched mRNAs showed significantly altered abundance in the aged male footpad skin, and 11 of them, including Foxa1, Best2, Chrm3, and Foxc1 mRNAs, were found in the 'core secretory' category. Consistent with the changes in mRNA expression levels, immunohistology revealed that higher numbers of secretory cells from old SWGs express the transcription factor FOXC1, the protein product of Foxc1 mRNA. In sum, our study identified mRNAs enriched in SWGs, including those that encode core secretory proteins, and altered abundance of these mRNAs and proteins with aging in mouse SWGs.

Keywords: BEST2; FOXA1; FOXC1; Tabby; ectodysplasin/Eda.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging* / genetics
  • Aging* / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Male
  • Mice
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sweat Glands* / metabolism
  • Transcriptome


  • RNA, Messenger