Abstract The effect of cholinesterase inhibition on sweat glands of neonates was explored through the local action of intradermally administered neostigmine. All 15 full-size neonates reacted to concentrations of 10 to 10 while only four of 17 low-birth-weight infants were responsive. This differential responsiveness is highly significant (P = 0.01). Differences are even greater when related to gestational age. In addition, subthreshold combinations of neostigmine and acetylcholine were given to three premature and four mature infants in order to potentiate pharmacologic stimuli. None of the premature infants responded to doses as high as paired half-maximal concentrations of each drug, while all mature infants showed sweating. Potentiation could not be shown even in mature neonates with pilocarpine and acetylcholine. This study shows that sweat glands are responsive to endogenous acetylcholine in mature neonates but not in those born prematurely. References 1. Rothman S, Coon JM: Axon reflex responses to acetylcholine in the skin . J Invest Derm 3:79-97, 1940.Crossref 2. Wada M: Sudorific action of adrenalin on the human sweat glands and determination of their excitability . Science 111:376-377, 1950.Crossref 3. Sonnenschein RR, Kobrin H, Janowitz HD: Stimulation and inhibition of human sweat glands by intradermal sympathicomimetic agents . J Appl Physiol 3:573-581, 1951. 4. Behrendt H, Green M: Drug-induced localized sweating in full-size and low-birth-weight infants . Amer J Dis Child 117:299-306, 1969. 5. Green M, Behrendt H: Sweating capacity of neonates: Nicotine-induced axon reflex sweating and the histamine flare . Amer J Dis Child 118:725-732, 1969.Crossref 6. Foster KG, Hey EN, Katz G: The response of the sweat glands of the newborn baby to thermal stimuli and to intradermal acetylcholine . J Physiol 203:13-29, 1969. 7. Benjamin FB: Sweating responses to local heat application . J Appl Physiol 5:594-598, 1953. 8. Bronow RS, Desilets DT, Sonnenschein RR: Influence of environmental and skin temperature on threshold for nicotine axon reflex sweating in humans . Proc Exp Biol Med 97:272-274, 1958.Crossref 9. Yerushalmy J: The low birth weight baby . Hosp Prac 3:62-69, 1968. 10. Janowitz H, Grossman MI: The response of sweat glands to some locally acting agents in human subjects . J Invest Derm 14:453-458, 1950. 11. Collins KJ, Sargent F, Weiner JS: Excitation and depression of eccrine sweat glands by acetylcholine, acetyl-β-methylcholine, and adrenalin . J Physiol 148:592-614, 1959. 12. Uchino, quoted by Foster KG, Hey EN, Katz G.6 13. Hey EN, Katz G: Evaporative water loss in the newborn baby . J Physiol 200:605-619, 1969. 14. Beckett EB, Bourne GH, Montagna W: Histology and cytochemistry of human skin: The distribution of cholinesterase in the finger of the embryo and the adult . J Physiol 134:202-206, 1956. 15. Rothman S: Physiology and Biochemistry of the Skin . Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1954, pp 163-169.
American Journal of Diseases of Children – American Medical Association
Published: Nov 1, 1970