Functional and morphological changes in the eccrine sweat gland with heat acclimation.J Appl Physiol (1985). 1990 Jul; 69(1):232-6.JA
Three adult male patas monkeys (11-15 kg) were heat acclimated by continuous exposure to an ambient temperature of 33 +/- 1 degree C at 13% relative humidity for 9 mo. During the last month, they were also exposed to 45 degrees C at 10% relative humidity for 4 h/day and 5 days/wk. Before and after 3 wk of acclimation, the animals were given a heat-tolerance test in which rectal (Tre) and mean skin (Tsk) temperatures, heart rate, and sweat rate (msw) were monitored during a 90-min exposure to 45 degrees C heat with 24% relative humidity under lenperone (1.0-1.4 mg/kg im) tranquilization. Maximal in vivo msw was also determined in response to subcutaneous injections (1 and 10% solutions) of methacholine (MCh). Before and after 9 wk and 9 mo of acclimation, sweat glands were dissected from biopsy specimens of the lateral calf, cannulated, and stimulated in vitro with MCh. Morphological measurements of isolated tubules were compared with maximal secretory rates produced by MCh stimulation. Three weeks of acclimation 1) reduced Tre and Tsk and increased msw during the heat tolerance test and 2) significantly increased maximal msw in response to MCh stimulation. Acclimation also increased (P less than 0.05) sweat gland size, as measured by tubular length and tubular volume. Maximal in vitro msw produced by MCh stimulation and msw per unit length of secretory coil also increased significantly. We conclude that heat acclimation increases the size of eccrine sweat glands and that these larger glands produce more sweat. They are also more efficient because they produce more sweat per unit length of secretory coil.