Responses of sympathetic outflow to skin during caloric stimulation in humans

Jian Cui, Satoshi Iwase, Tadaaki Mano, Hiroki Kitazawa

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27 Scopus citations


We previously showed that caloric vestibular stimulation elicits increases in sympathetic outflow to muscle (MSNA) in humans. The present study was conducted to determine the effect of this stimulation on sympathetic outflow to skin (SSNA). The SSNA in the tibial and peroneal nerves and nystagmus was recorded in nine subjects when the external meatus was irrigated with 50 ml of cold (10°C) or warm (44°C) water. During nystagmus, the SSNA in tibial and peroneal nerves decreased to 50 ± 4% (with baseline value set as 100%) and 61 ± 4%, respectively. The degree of SSNA suppression in both nerves was proportional to the maximum slow-phase velocity of nystagmus. After nystagmus, the SSNA increased to 166 ± 7 and 168 ± 6%, respectively, and the degree of motion sickness symptoms was correlated with this SSNA increase. These results suggest that the SSNA response differs from the MSNA response during caloric vestibular stimulation and that the SSNA response elicited in the initial period of caloric vestibular stimulation is different from that observed during the period of motion sickness symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R738-R744
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3 45-3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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