Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 13, 2018

Local inhibition of carbonic anhydrase does not decrease sweat rate

Jeff Moore , Sarah Northway , Nicole Wells , Emily Woolf and Michael J. Buono EMAIL logo



The purpose of this study was to measure sweat rate during exercise in the heat after directly inhibiting carbonic anhydrase (CA) in eccrine sweat glands via transdermal iontophoresis of acetazolamide. It was hypothesized that if CA was important for sweat production, local administration of acetazolamide, without the confounding systemic effects of dehydration typically associated with past studies, would have a significant effect on sweat rate during exercise.


Ten healthy subjects volunteered to exercise in the heat following acetazolamide or distilled water iontophoresis on the forearm.


The distilled water iontophoresis site had a mean sweat rate during exercise in the heat of 0.59±0.31 μL/cm2/min, while the acetazolamide iontophoresis site had a mean sweat rate of 0.63±0.36 μL/cm2/min (p>0.05).


The most important finding of the current study was that iontophoresis of acetazolamide did not significantly decrease sweat rate during exercise in the heat. Such results suggest that in past studies it was systemic dehydration, and not CA inhibition at the level of the sweat gland, that caused the reported decreased sweat rate.

Corresponding author: Michael J. Buono, PhD, School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences and the Department of Biology, San Diego State University, Mail Code: 7251, San Diego, CA 92182, USA, Phone: +619-594-6823

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


1. Briggman JV, Tashian RE, Spicer SS. Immunohistochemical localization of carbonic anhydrase I and II in eccrine sweat glands from control subjects and patients with cystic fibrosis. Am J Pathol 1983;112:250–7.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

2. Clunes MT, Lindsay SL, Roussa E, Quinton PM, Bovell DL. Localization of the vacuolar proton pump (V-H+-ATPase) and carbonic anhydrase II in the human eccrine sweat gland. J Mol Histol 2004;35:339–45.10.1023/B:HIJO.0000039837.45595.a6Search in Google Scholar

3. Cui CY, Schlessinger D. Eccrine sweat gland development and sweat secretion. Exp Dermatol 2015;24:644–50.10.1111/exd.12773Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

4. Bovell D. The human eccrine sweat gland: structure, function, and disorders. J Local Glob Health Sci 2015;5:1–16.10.5339/jlghs.2015.5Search in Google Scholar

5. Dahlborn K, Jansson A, Nyman S, Morgan K, Holm L, Ridderstråle Y. Sweat production and localization of carbonic anhydrase in the equine sweat gland during exercise at two ambient temperatures. Eq Veter J 1999;30(S30):398–403.10.1111/j.2042-3306.1999.tb05255.xSearch in Google Scholar PubMed

6. Sato K, Gisolfi CV, Lamb DR, Nadel ER. Perspectives in exercise science and sports medicine. Exercise, heat, and thermoregulation, Vol. 6. Indianapolis, IN: Benchmark Press, 1993:85–118.Search in Google Scholar

7. Brechue WF, Stager JM. Acetazolamide alters temperature regulation during submaximal exercise. J Appl Physiol 1990;69:1402–7.10.1152/jappl.1990.69.4.1402Search in Google Scholar PubMed

8. Brechue WF, Stager JM, Lukaski HC. Body water and electrolyte responses to acetazolamide in humans. J Appl Physiol 1990;69:1397–401.10.1152/jappl.1990.69.4.1397Search in Google Scholar PubMed

9. Ekblom B, Greenleaf CJ, Greenleaf JE, Hermansen L. Temperature regulation during exercise dehydration in man. Acta Physiol Scand 1970;79:475–83.10.1111/j.1748-1716.1970.tb04748.xSearch in Google Scholar PubMed

10. Fortney SM, Nadel ER, Wenger CB, Bove JR. Effect of blood volume on sweating rate and body fluids in exercising humans. J Appl Physiol 1981;51:1594–600.10.1152/jappl.1981.51.6.1594Search in Google Scholar PubMed

11. Greenleaf JE, Castle BL. Exercise temperature regulation in man during hypohydration and hyperhydration. J Appl Physiol 1971;30:847–53.10.1152/jappl.1971.30.6.847Search in Google Scholar PubMed

12. Sawka M, Young A, Francesconi R, Muza S, Pandolf K. Thermoregulatory and blood pressure responses during exercise at graded hypohydration levels. J Appl Physiol 1985;59:1394–401.10.1152/jappl.1985.59.5.1394Search in Google Scholar PubMed

13. Kaiser D, Songo-Williams R, Drack E. Hydrogen ion and electrolyte excretion of the single human sweat gland. Pflugers Archiv 1974;349:63–72.10.1007/BF00587917Search in Google Scholar PubMed

14. Buono MJ, Wall AJ. Effect of hypohydration on core temperature during exercise in temperate and hot environments. Pflugers Archiv 2000;440:476–80.10.1007/s004240000298Search in Google Scholar PubMed

15. Sato K. The physiology, pharmacology, and biochemistry of the eccrine sweat gland. Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacol 1977;79:51–131.10.1007/BFb0037089Search in Google Scholar PubMed

Received: 2018-02-27
Accepted: 2018-06-15
Published Online: 2018-08-13
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

©2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 8.12.2022 from
Scroll Up Arrow