Although an importance of vasoconstrictor skin sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) in control of cutaneous circulation is widely recognized, the decoding rule that translate dynamic fluctuations of vasoconstrictor skin SNA into skin blood flow is not fully understood. In 10 male subjects who rested in supine position under normothermic condition, we measured skin blood flow index (by laser-Doppler flowmetry) at the dorsum pedis, and vasoconstrictor skin SNA (by microneurography) that was confirmed to innervate the same region as the flow index. We determined the transfer and coherence functions from the neural activity input to the flow and quantified the contribution and predictability from the input to output by system engineering technique. The results showed that in frequency-domain analysis, the transfer function from vasoconstrictor skin SNA to skin blood flow had low-pass filter characteristics with 3.6 ± 0.1 s of pure time delay. The coherence function was approximately 0.5 between 0.01 and 0.1 Hz and less above 0.1 Hz. In time-domain analysis, the predictability from the SNA to the skin blood flow was approximately 50%. These findings indicate that at normothermic rest, the decoding rule from vasoconstrictor skin SNA to skin blood flow of skin is characterized by low-pass filter with 3-4 s of pure time delay, and that the vasoconstrictor skin SNA contributes to a half of fluctuation of skin blood flow in the condition. The incomplete dependence of skin blood flow on vasoconstrictor skin SNA may confirm nonneural mechanisms to control cutaneous circulation even at normothermic rest.
- Cutaneous circulation
- Skin blood flow
- Skin sympathetic nerve activity
- Transfer function
ASJC Scopus subject areas