Adrenal Gland

Posted by e-Medical PPT Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The adrenal glands or suprarenal glands are the triangular-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They are chiefly responsible for releasing hormones in conjunction with stress through the synthesis of corticosteroids and catecholamines, including cortisol and adrenaline (epinephrine), respectively.
The adrenal cortex comprises three zones, or layers.
Zona glomerulosa (outer)- The outermost layer, the zona glomerulosa is the main site for production of mineralocorticoids, mainly aldosterone, which is largely responsible for the long-term regulation of blood pressure.
Zona fasciculata - Situated between the glomerulosa and reticularis, the zona fasciculata is responsible for producing glucocorticoids, chiefly cortisol in humans. The zona fasciculata secretes a basal level of cortisol but can also produce bursts of the hormone in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary.
Zona reticularis- The inner most cortical layer, the zona reticularis produces androgens, mainly dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DHEA-S) in humans.
The adrenal medulla is the core of the adrenal gland, and is surrounded by the adrenal cortex. The chromaffin cells of the medulla, named for their characteristic brown staining with chromic acid salts, are the body's main source of the circulating catecholamines adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine).

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