Effect of local acetylcholinesterase inhibition on sweat rate in humans

Manabu Shibasaki, Craig G. Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


ACh is the neurotransmitter responsible for increasing sweat rate (SR) in humans. Because ACh is rapidly hydrolyzed by acetylcholinesterase (AChE), it is possible that AChE contributes to the modulation of SR. Thus the primary purpose of this project was to identify whether AChE around human sweat glands is capable of modulating SR during local application of various concentrations of ACh in vivo, as well as during a heat stress. In seven subjects, two microdialysis probes were placed in the intradermal space of the forearm. One probe was perfused with the AChE inhibitor neostigmine (10 μM); the adjacent membrane was perfused with the vehicle (Ringer solution). SR over both membranes was monitored via capacitance hygrometry during microdialysis administration of various concentrations of ACh (1 × 10-7-2 M) and during whole body heating. SR was significantly greater at the neostigmine-treated site than at the control site during administration of lower concentrations of ACh (1 × 10-7-1 × 10-3 M, P < 0.05), but not during administration of higher concentrations of ACh (1 × 10-2-2 M, P > 0.05). Moreover, the core temperature threshold for the onset of sweating at the neostigmine-treated site was significantly reduced relative to that at the control site. However, no differences in SR were observed between sites after 35 min of whole body heating. These results suggest that AChE is capable of modulating SR when ACh concentrations are low to moderate (i.e., when sudomotor activity is low) but is less effective in governing SR after SR has increased substantially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-762
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Acetylcholine
  • Hyperthermia
  • Microdialysis
  • Neostigmine
  • Temperature regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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