The influence of local skin temperature on the sweat glands maximum ion reabsorption rate

  • N. Gerrett
  • T. Amano
  • G. Havenith
  • Y. Inoue
  • Narihiko KondoEmail author
Original Article



Changes in mean skin temperature (Tsk) have been shown to modify the maximum rate of sweat ion reabsorption. This study aims to extend this knowledge by investigating if modifications could also be caused by local Tsk.


The influence of local Tsk on the sweat gland maximum ion reabsorption rates was investigated in ten healthy volunteers (three female and seven male; 20.8 ± 1.2 years, 60.4 ± 7.7 kg, 169.4 ± 10.4 cm) during passive heating (water-perfused suit and lower leg water immersion). In two separate trials, in a randomized order, one forearm was always manipulated to 33 °C (Neutral), whilst the other was manipulated to either 30 °C (Cool) or 36 °C (Warm) using water-perfused patches. Oesophageal temperature (Tes), forearm Tsk, sweat rate (SR), galvanic skin conductance (GSC) and salivary aldosterone concentrations were measured. The sweat gland maximum ion reabsorption rates were identified using the ∆SR threshold for an increasing ∆GSC.


Thermal [Tes and body temperature (Tb)] and non-thermal responses (aldosterone) were similar across all conditions (p > 0.05). A temperature-dependent response for the sweat gland maximum ion reabsorption rates was evident between 30 °C (0.18 ± 0.10 mg/cm2/min) and 36 °C (0.28 ± 0.14 mg/cm2/min, d = 0.88, p < 0.05), but not for 33 °C (0.22 ± 0.12 mg/cm2/min), d = 0.44 and d = 0.36, p > 0.05.


The data indicate that small variations in local Tsk may not affect the sweat gland maximum ion reabsorption rates but when the local Tsk increases by > 6 °C, ion reabsorption rates also increase.


Sweat ion regulation Sweat glands Skin temperature Aldosterone 



Analysis of variance


Cystic fibrosis transmembrane channels




Cutaneous vascular conductance (%)


Epithelial sodium channel


Galvanic skin conductance (µS)


Heat-activated sweat glands


Heart rate (bpm)




Mean arterial pressure (mmHG)




Sweat gland output


Sweat rate (mg/cm2/min)


Body temperature (°C)


Oesophageal temperature (°C)


Skin temperature (°C)


Maximum oxygen uptake (ml/kg/min)



We thank our participants for volunteering their time. We also thank Drs S. Koga and D. Okushima for their insightful comments during the preparation of this manuscript. Finally, we thank Dr Koji Sato for his assistance with aldosterone analysis. This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (16H04851 and 17H0253) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan.

Author contributions

Nicola Gerrett, Tatsuro Amano and Narihiko Kondo conceived and designed the research. Nicola Gerrett conducted all experiments and analysed the data. All authors were involved in the interpretation of the data. Nicola Gerrett drafted the manuscript and all authors read, edited and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Applied Human Physiology, Graduate School of Human Development and EnvironmentKobe UniversityKobeJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Physiology, Faculty of EducationNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan
  3. 3.Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre, Loughborough Design SchoolLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK
  4. 4.Laboratory for Human Performance ResearchOsaka International UniversityOsakaJapan

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