Herpes simplex virus-induced murine dry skin model through sweating disturbance

Published:September 03, 2022DOI:


      • We established the sweating disturbance/dry skin mouse model by HSV infection.
      • Hyperthermic stress enhanced sweating disturbance.
      • HSV-1 DNA was detected in sweat glands and dorsal root ganglia.
      • Increased anti-HSV-1 IgG prevented sweating disturbance.
      • Sweating disturbance could be due to HSV-induced dysfunction of sweat glands.



      Given that ocular glands become infected secondarily to herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) keratitis, resulting in the loss of tear production, sweat glands may also be susceptible to HSV-1 infection, resulting in sweating disturbance, which is observed frequently in atopic dermatitis. However, due to the lack of sweat glands on the hairy skin of mice, the role of sweating in the maintenance of skin hydration has not been elucidated.


      To determine the relationship between HSV-1 infection of sweat glands and sweating disturbance-induced dry skin.


      By using the impression mold technique, we examined the sweating response together with the detection of HSV-1 DNA in the sweat glands of footpads, the only area with sweat glands in mice, after local cutaneous HSV-1 inoculation of immunocompetent mice.


      The sweating response and skin surface hydration were significantly decreased at 7–14 days post-infection. Sweating disturbance and dry skin was markedly enhanced when HSV-1 inoculation was followed by hyperthermic stress. Both resolved spontaneously and became resistant to a second HSV-1 inoculation, associated with increased anti-HSV-IgG antibodies. HSV-1 DNA was detected in sweat glands and dorsal root ganglia. The sweating response remained decreased after subcutaneous injection with pilocarpine, correlating histologically with marked dilatation of sweat gland lumens. These findings indicate that sweating disturbance is unlikely to be the outcome of nerve damage by HSV-1 infection.


      Sweating disturbance could be due to HSV-induced dysfunction of sweat glands. We developed a sweating disturbance-induced dry skin mouse model by infection with HSV-1.


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