IMR Press / FBS / Volume 2 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/S105

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Thermoregulatory and thermal control in the human cutaneous circulation
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1 Department of Physiology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
2 Departments of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio TX

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Clark Blatteis

Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2010, 2(3), 825–853;
Published: 1 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in thermoregulation research)

The past 10-15 years has been a time of focus on the mechanisms of control in the human cutaneous circulation. Methodological developments have provided powerful means for resolving the important contributors to the reflex control of skin blood flow (thermoregulatory control) and also for the equally impressive effects of direct heating and cooling of the skin (thermal control). This review is devoted largely to that recent literature. We treat the sympathetic vasoconstrictor system and its transmitters and modulatory factors and the sympathetic active vasodilator system and its abundant mysteries, with focus on the putative transmitters and cotransmitters, the involvement of nitric oxide and the relationship to sweating and modulatory factors. We also deal with the current understanding of the mechanisms of vasoconstriction and vasodilation that accompany direct skin cooling and heating, noting that adrenergic function, afferent nerve function and the nitric oxide system are involved in the vascular responses to both thermal stimuli.

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