Temporal and thermal variations in site-specific thermoregulatory sudomotor thresholds: Precursor versus discharged sweat production

Authors

  • Christiano A. Machado-Moreira,

    1. Centre for Human and Applied Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
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  • Robert J. Barry,

    1. Centre for Psychophysics, Psychophysiology and Psychopharmacology, School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
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  • Martin J. Vosselman,

    1. Centre for Human and Applied Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
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  • Rafael M. Ruest,

    1. Centre for Human and Applied Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
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  • Nigel A. S. Taylor

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Human and Applied Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
    • Address correspondence to: Nigel A. S. Taylor, Ph.D., Centre for Human and Applied Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. E-mail: nigel_taylor@uow.edu.au

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  • This project was supported in part by a doctoral scholarship from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES (Ministry of Education, Brazil).

Abstract

Temporal and thermal differences between the initiation of precursor, eccrine sweat and its surface discharge were investigated during passive heating. Sudomotor activity was evaluated using electrodermal (precursor) and ventilated sweat capsule measurements (dorsal fingers, dorsal hand, forehead, forearm). Passive heating significantly elevated auditory canal (0.5oC) and mean body temperatures (0.9oC). At each site, the precursor sudomotor thresholds occurred at a lower mean body temperature (P < .05), with an average elevation of 0.35oC (SD 0.04). However, discharged thresholds were delayed until this temperature had risen 0.53oC (SD 0.04), producing significant phase delays across sites (mean: 4.1 min [SD 0.5]; P < .05). It is concluded that precise sudomotor threshold determinations require methods that respond to sweat accumulating within the secretory coil, and not discharged secretions, reinforcing the importance of electrodermal techniques.

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