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Heat and exercise alone may not determine how much we sweat

(July 20, 2004) - Bethesda, MD - For most of us, hot weather leads to elevated internal and skin temperatures, which increase sweat rates and skin blood flow. How much we sweat can also depend on nonthermal factors such as exercise, baroreceptor loading status, and body fluid status. During exercise, heart rate and mean arterial pressure (MAP) are elevated via a combination of central command and muscle mechanoreceptor and metaboreceptor stimulation.

These receptors may be equally important in producing sweat as the most high-tech treadmill. Sensory receptors can occur as part of sense organs or on their own, as a specialized detector for a particular type of stimulus; receptor cells provide the sensor neurons, responsible for responding to the stimulus. Receptors can be grouped according to the kind of energy that they are most sensitive to, whether it is chemical, mechanical, light, thermal, electrical, or magnetic. The mechanoreceptor responds to mechanical energy of physical movement or muscle activity derived from exercise.

A New Study

Passive limb movement using a tandem ergometer has been employed to investigate the role of muscle mechanoreceptor stimulation, independent of the contribution of "central command" during exercise. A new study used this approach to test the hypothesis that sweat rate is modulated by muscle mechanoreceptor stimulation during the recovery period from exercise.

That study, "Muscle Mechanoreceptor Modulation of Sweat Rate During Recovery from Moderate Exercise," is authored by Manabu Shibasaki, Mieko Sakai, Mayumi Oda, all from the Faculty of Human Life and Environmental Health, Nara Women's University, Nara, Japan; and Craig G. Crandall, affiliated with the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. Their findings appear in the June 2004 edition of th
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20-Jul-2004


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