The effect of skin temperature on the ion reabsorption capacity of sweat glands during exercise in humans is unknown. In this study, eight healthy subjects performed a 60-min cycling exercise at a constant intensity (60% VO(2max)) under moderate (25 degrees C) and cool (15 degrees C) ambient temperatures at a constant relative humidity of 40%. The sweating rate (SR), index of sweat ion concentration (ISIC) by using sweat conductivity, esophageal temperature (Tes), mean skin temperature, and heart rate (HR) were measured continuously under both ambient temperatures. The SR and ISIC were significantly lower at the cool ambient temperature versus the moderate temperature. There were no significant differences in the changes in HR and esophageal temperature between these ambient temperature conditions, while the mean skin temperature was significantly lower at the cool ambient temperature by almost 3 degrees C (P < 0.05). The slopes of the relationships between Tes and the SR and ISIC were significantly lower and the thresholds of these relationships were significantly higher at the cool ambient temperature (P < 0.05). The ion reabsorption capacity of the sweat glands was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in a cool environment (0.21 +/- 0.04 vs. 0.52 +/- 0.06 mg/cm(2)/min at 15 and 25 degrees C, respectively) as evaluated using the relationships for SR and ISIC. The results suggest that the ion reabsorption capacity of the sweat glands is influenced by skin temperature during exercise in humans.
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