The effects of a psychological "stressor" and raised ambient temperature on the pharmacological responsiveness of human eccrine sweat glands: implications for sweat gland hyper-responsiveness in anxiety states

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1984;26(2):209-13. doi: 10.1007/BF00630287.


The responsiveness of eccrine sweat glands to local intradermal injections of carbachol was studied in six male healthy volunteers using a plastic paint impression method. A psychological "stressor" (performance of a mental arithmetic task) resulted in an increase in the sizes of the responses evoked by carbachol, this being reflected in a higher value of Emax obtained under the "stress" than under the "non-stress" condition. A rise in ambient temperature from 20 degrees C to 35 degrees C resulted in qualitatively similar effects on the dose-response curve. These results are discussed in the context of recent observations on the pharmacological responsiveness of sweat glands in patients suffering from anxiety neurosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / physiopathology*
  • Carbachol / pharmacology
  • Eccrine Glands / drug effects*
  • Eccrine Glands / physiopathology
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Sweat Glands / drug effects*


  • Carbachol