Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

What are the two types of hormones secreted by the adrenalcortex, and what are their functions?

Summary Introduction

To review:

Two types of hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex and their functions.


The adrenal glands are small, paired structure present above each kidney. The gland can be divided into two regions, wherein the medulla is the inner and soft region and the cortex is an outer and tough region.


The adrenal cortex is enclosed by a fibrous capsule. It is tough and forms 75% of the adrenal gland and develops from mesoderm layer. Its destruction can cause death. It is divided into different regions that secrete different hormones, namely, the glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid.

Glucocorticoid is a hormone, which is secreted by the adrenal cortex in response to the stress condition in the body. The main glucocorticoid secreted by the adrenal cortex is cortisol. The corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), secreted by the hypothalamus and the ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) secreted by the pituitary, promotes the secretion of the glucocorticoids. These hormones are secreted under the conditions of stress. Also, the low blood level of the glucocorticoid causes the release of the CRH, which in turn stimulates the secretion of glucocorticoids.

The glucocorticoids regulate the level of glucose by the following mechanisms:

a. Stimulating glucose synthesis from non-carbohydrate sources such as proteins and fats.

b. Promoting the catabolism or breakdown of proteins and fats to release the amino acids and fatty acids into the bloodstream to serve as an alternate fuel source when the levels of glucose are low...

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