Adrenal Essay

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Adrenal gland Adrenal gland, also called suprarenal gland, either of two small triangular endocrine glands that are located above each kidney. The outer part of the gland is called the cortex. It produces steroid hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone, and testosterone. The inner part of the gland is called the medulla. It produces epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are also called adrenaline and noradrenaline. Anatomy Anatomy * The zona glomerulosa – this constitutes about 25% of the adrenal cortex, and it is where aldosterone is produced. The production of aldosterone is controlled by extracellular fluid concentrations of angiotensin II and potassium. Both these two chemicals will increase the synthesis of aldosterone. * The zona fasciculata - this constitutes about 75% of the adrenal cortex, and secretes glucocorticoids as well as small amounts of androgens and oestrogens. The secretion of these hormones is largely controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary axis – and the release of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). * The zona reticularis – this is responsilbe for most of the androgen output of the adrenal galnd and it also secretes some oestrogens and glucocorticoids. The adrenal cortex produces two main groups of corticosteroid hormones—glucocorticoids and mineralcorticoids. The release of glucocorticoids is triggered by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Mineralcorticoids are mediated by signals triggered by the kidney. Release Pathway When the hypothalamus produces corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), it stimulates the pituitary gland to release adrenal corticotrophic hormone (ACTH). These hormones, in turn, alert the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroid hormones. Glucocorticoids released by the adrenal cortex include: Hydrocortisone Commonly known as cortisol, it regulates how the body converts fats, proteins,

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