Evidence of purinergic neurotransmission in isolated, intact horse sweat glands

Douglas L. Bovell, Christopher M. Riggs, Gordon Sidlow, Suzanne Troester, William Maclaren, Wallace Yip, Wing H. Ko

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Background: Fluid secretion by sweat glands in response to heat and exercise is underpinned by increases in intracellular calcium. In horses, this is primarily via β2-adrenoceptors, but studies in equine sweat gland cell lines have indicated a possible role for purinergic agonists. Knowledge of equine sweating stimulus-secretion mechanisms in intact glands from healthy animals would allow future comparison to determine whether these mechanisms are affected in equine anhidrosis. Hypothesis/Objectives: To determine whether purinergic agonists can induce changes in intracellular calcium in intact, freshly isolated equine sweat glands. Animals: Eleven healthy thoroughbred horses from the Hong Kong Jockey Club were used in this study. Methods: Freshly isolated equine sweat glands were loaded with the calcium-sensitive fluorescent dye fura-2 AM, and changes in intracellular calcium were recorded before, during and after stimulation by purinergic agonists. Results: Purinergic agonists ATP and UTP generated significant increases in intracellular calcium. Conclusions and clinical importance: The results show that it is possible to investigate stimulus-secretion coupling mechanisms by fluorescence imaging in equine sweat glands that have been isolated from fresh skin samples. Such isolated glands retain functional β2-adrenoceptors and P2Y purinergic receptors that couple to a calcium-signalling pathway. Using isolated, intact sweat glands therefore offers a very useful model for the further study of secretory processes in equine sweat glands, and using this experimental approach could facilitate a better understanding of how these mechanisms are affected in equine anhidrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-e86
JournalVeterinary Dermatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Bovell, D. L., Riggs, C. M., Sidlow, G., Troester, S., Maclaren, W., Yip, W., & Ko, W. H. (2013). Evidence of purinergic neurotransmission in isolated, intact horse sweat glands. Veterinary Dermatology, 24(4), 398-e86. https://doi.org/10.1111/vde.12042