Spatial summation of thermal sensations depends on skin type and skin sensitivity
We investigated the effects of ambient temperature on the sudomotor and vasoconstrictor components of skin sympathetic nerve activity (SSNA). The sympathetic traffic was measured by simultaneous microneurographic recording from post-ganglionic nerve fibres in the tibial and the peroneal nerves. When the ambient temperature was raised from 25° C to 34° C, both sudomotor and vasoconstrictor components of SSNA were enhanced in the peroneal nerve but were suppressed in the tibial nerve. The sudomotor and vasoconstrictor sympathetic outflows were elevated in both nerves when the temperature was lowered from 34° C to 18° C. Our results suggested that the sudomotor and the vasoconstrictor components of SSNA are differently modulated by ambient temperature. The difference in sudomotor and vasoconstrictor components of SSNA in the tibial and the peroneal nerves at different ambient temperature may have been responsible for the differences observed in sweating and vasoconstriction in glabrous and hairy skin.