Competition between cutaneous vasodilator and vasoconstrictor reflexes in man

J. M. Johnson, M. Niederberger, L. B. Rowell, M. M. Eisman, G. L. Brengelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


A two part experiment was carried out on seven men to determine whether skin will respond to increased neurogenic vasoconstrictor activity during heating. The latter was induced by lower body negative pressure (LBNP) of -50 mm Hg applied for 5 of each 15 min in 12 studies with constant, neutral skin temperature (T(s)) (32.2 - 34.4 C) in a 40 min control period (part I) and with T(s) held at 38 C for 40-70 min (part II). Part I: LBNP reduced forearm blood flow (FBF) by an average of 41% (3.07 to 1.80 ml/100 ml.min). Part II: heating raised rectal temperature by an average of 0.8 C and FBF by 13.8 ml/100 ml.min. After 50 min of heating, LBNP reduced FBF by 6.1 ml/100 ml.min, a fall too great to be due to reduced muscle blood flow alone. Measurement of arterial blood pressure in three men showed that this reduction was mostly active; the fall of forearm vascular conductance exceeded that attributable to muscle vasoconstriction alone. It is concluded that during heating, skin retains the ability to vasoconstrict but that this vasoconstriction cannot completely override heat induced vasodilatation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-803
Number of pages6
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1973
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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