Effects of chronic sympathectomy on locally mediated cutaneous vasodilation in humans

Nisha Charkoudian, John H. Eisenach, John L D Atkinson, Robert D. Fealey, Michael Joseph Joyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In human skin, the vasodilator response to local heating includes a sensory nerve-dependent peak followed by a nadir and then a slower, nitric oxide-mediated, endothelium-dependent vasodilation. To investigate whether chronic sympathectomy diminishes this endothelium-dependent vasodilation, we studied individuals who had previously undergone surgical T2 sympathectomy (n = 9) and a group of healthy controls (n = 8). We assessed the cutaneous vascular response (laser-Doppler) to 30 min of local warming to 42.5°C on the ventral forearm (no sympathetic innervation) and the lower legs (sympathetic nerves intact). Lower body negative pressure (LBNP) was measured to confirm sympathetic denervation. During local warming in sympathectomized individuals, vascular conductance reached an initial peak at both sites [achieving 1.73 ± 0.22 laser-Doppler units (LDU)/mmHg in the forearm and 1.92 ± 0.21 LDU/mmHg in the leg]. It then decreased to a nadir in the innervated leg [to 1.77 ± 0.23 LDU/mmHg (P < 0.05)] but not in the sympathectomized arm (1.69 ± 0.21 LDU/mmHg; P > 0.10). The maximal vasodilation seen during the slower phase was not different between limbs or between groups. Furthermore, LBNP caused a 44% reduction in forearm vascular conductance (FVC) in control subjects, but FVC did not decrease significantly in sympathectomized individuals, confirming sympathetic denervation. These data indicate that endothelial function in human skin is largely preserved after sympathectomy. The altered pattern of the response suggests that the nitric oxide-dependent portion may be accelerated in sympathectomized limbs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-690
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume92
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

Fingerprint

Sympathectomy
Vasodilation
Forearm
Blood Vessels
Lasers
Skin
Lower Body Negative Pressure
Leg
Endothelium
Nitric Oxide
Extremities
Vasodilator Agents
Heating
Control Groups

Keywords

  • Laser-Doppler flowmetry
  • Regional blood flow
  • Skin
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Charkoudian, N., Eisenach, J. H., Atkinson, J. L. D., Fealey, R. D., & Joyner, M. J. (2002). Effects of chronic sympathectomy on locally mediated cutaneous vasodilation in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology, 92(2), 685-690.

Effects of chronic sympathectomy on locally mediated cutaneous vasodilation in humans. / Charkoudian, Nisha; Eisenach, John H.; Atkinson, John L D; Fealey, Robert D.; Joyner, Michael Joseph.

In: Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 92, No. 2, 2002, p. 685-690.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Charkoudian, N, Eisenach, JH, Atkinson, JLD, Fealey, RD & Joyner, MJ 2002, 'Effects of chronic sympathectomy on locally mediated cutaneous vasodilation in humans', Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 685-690.
Charkoudian, Nisha ; Eisenach, John H. ; Atkinson, John L D ; Fealey, Robert D. ; Joyner, Michael Joseph. / Effects of chronic sympathectomy on locally mediated cutaneous vasodilation in humans. In: Journal of Applied Physiology. 2002 ; Vol. 92, No. 2. pp. 685-690.
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