Sweating as a heat loss thermoeffector

Daniel Gagnon, Craig G Crandall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

28 Scopus citations


In humans, sweating is the most powerful autonomic thermoeffector. The evaporation of sweat provides by far the greatest potential for heat loss and it represents the only means of heat loss when air temperature exceeds skin temperature. Sweat production results from the integration of afferent neural information from peripheral and central thermoreceptors which leads to an increase in skin sympathetic nerve activity. At the neuroglandular junction, acetylcholine is released and binds to muscarinic receptors which stimulate the secretion of a primary fluid by the secretory coil of eccrine glands. The primary fluid subsequently travels through a duct where ions are reabsorbed. The end result is the expulsion of hypotonic sweat on to the skin surface. Sweating increases in proportion with the intensity of the thermal challenge in an attempt of the body to attain heat balance and maintain a stable internal body temperature. The control of sweating can be modified by biophysical factors, heat acclimation, dehydration, and nonthermal factors. The purpose of this article is to review the role of sweating as a heat loss thermoeffector in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages22
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • acclimation
  • cholinergic
  • eccrine
  • evaporation
  • heat
  • perspiration
  • sweat gland
  • thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sweating as a heat loss thermoeffector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this