Adrenal Glands page 524

The adrenal glands are located atop the kidneys.

1. Structure of the glands a. Each adrenal gland consists of a medulla and a cortex.

b. The adrenal medulla and adrenal cortex are distinct glands that secrete different hormones.

2. Hormones of the adrenal medulla a. The adrenal medulla secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine.

b. These hormones are synthesized from tyrosine and are similar chemically.

c. These hormones produce effects similar to those of the sympathetic nervous system.

d. Sympathetic impulses originating from the hypothalamus stimulate secretion of these hormones.

3. Hormones of the adrenal cortex a. The cortex produces several types of steroids that include hormones.

b. Aldosterone

(1) It causes the kidneys to conserve sodium ions and water and to excrete potassium ions.

(2) It is secreted in response to increased potassium ion concentration or presence of angiotensin II.

(3) By conserving sodium ions and water, it helps maintain blood volume and pressure.

c. Cortisol

(1) It inhibits protein synthesis, releases fatty acids, and stimulates glucose formation from noncarbohydrates.

(2) A negative feedback mechanism involving secretion of CRH from the hypothalamus and ACTH from the anterior pituitary gland controls its level.

d. Adrenal sex hormones

(1) These hormones are of the male type although some can be converted into female hormones.

(2) They supplement the sex hormones produced by the gonads.

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