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Does α1-adrenergic receptor blockade modulate sweating during incremental exercise in young endurance-trained men?

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Human eccrine sweat glands respond to α1-adrenergic receptor agonists. We recently reported that adrenergic mechanisms contribute to sweating in endurance-trained men during an incremental exercise to volitional fatigue. However, it remains unclear if this response is mediated by α1-adrenergic receptor activation.


Twelve endurance-trained men performed an incremental cycling bout until exhaustion while wearing a water-perfused suit to clamp skin temperature at ~ 34 °C. Bilateral forearm sweat rates were measured wherein the distal area was treated with either 1% terazosin (α1-adrenergic receptor antagonist) or saline solution on the opposite limb (Control) via transdermal iontophoresis. We also measured proximal bilateral forearm sweat rate in untreated sites to confirm that no between-limb differences in forearm sweat rate occurred. Once sweat rate returned to pre-exercise resting levels at ~ 20 min postexercise, 0.25% phenylephrine (α1-adrenergic receptor agonist) was iontophoretically administered to skin to verify α1-adrenergic receptor blockade.


Sweat rates at the proximal untreated right and left forearm sites were similar during exercise (interaction, P = 0.581). Similarly, no effect of terazosin on sweat rate was measured relative to control site (interaction, P = 0.848). Postexercise administration of phenylephrine increased sweat rate at the control site (0.08 ± 0.09 mg cm−2 min−1), which was suppressed by ~ 90% at the terazosin-treated site (0.01 ± 0.02 mg cm−2 min−1) (P = 0.026), confirming that α1-adrenergic receptor blockade was intact.


Our findings demonstrate that α1-adrenergic receptors located at eccrine sweat glands do not contribute to eccrine sweating during incremental exercise in young endurance-trained men.

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Fig. 1
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Analysis of variance


Heart rate

T co :

Core temperature

T sk :

Mean skin temperature

\(\dot{V}O_{2}\) :

Rate of oxygen consumption

\(\dot{V}O_{{2{\text{peak}}}}\) :

Peak rate of oxygen consumption


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We thank our volunteer subjects for participating in this study. We would like thank Dr. Tomoyuki Yokoyama for the medical support provided.


This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No. 18H03146) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan.

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Conception, design of research, data collection, and data analyses were undertaken by TA, the manuscript was drafted by TA, NF, and GPK and all authors (TA, NF, YI, and NK) contributed to data interpretation, editing and revision of manuscript, and approved the final version.

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Correspondence to Tatsuro Amano.

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Communicated by George Havenith.

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Amano, T., Fujii, N., Kenny, G.P. et al. Does α1-adrenergic receptor blockade modulate sweating during incremental exercise in young endurance-trained men?. Eur J Appl Physiol 120, 1123–1129 (2020).

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