European journal of applied physiology

Different vascular responses in glabrous and nonglabrous skin with increasing core temperature during exercise.

PMID 16767440


To elucidate the characteristics of vasomotor control in glabrous and nonglabrous skin during dynamic exercise, we compared the vascular responses in both areas to increasing core temperature during the cycle exercise for 30 min at different intensities in the range 20-60% of peak oxygen consumption (VO(2peak)) in a total of 13 male and four female subjects in two experimental protocols. Skin blood flow was monitored using laser Doppler flowmetry. In protocol 1, the slope of the relationship between esophageal temperature (T (es)) and cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) in the early phase of the exercise decreased (P < 0.05) with increasing exercise intensity at glabrous sites (palm) but not nonglabrous sites (dorsal hand). In protocol 2, to examine whether a difference in vascular responses in the two areas is due to the adrenergic vasoconstrictor system, the release of norepinephrine from adrenergic nerves in forearm and palmar skin was blocked locally by iontophoresis of bretylium tosylate (BT). The administration of BT diminished completely the change of CVC in the palm during the exercise but did not alter the response in the forearm compared with the untreated site. In the two areas, neither the T (es) threshold for vasodilation nor the change in CVC above the threshold in the middle and late phase of the exercise was influenced by the intensity of the exercise. These results suggest that, in the early phase of the exercise, light-to-moderate exercise reduces in an intensity-dependent manner the thermal sensitivity for vasodilation in glabrous skin but not nonglabrous skin via an adrenergic vasoconstrictor pathway.