Adrenal gland

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The adrenal gland is a gland in most mammals. It is near the kidneys. Its name tells its position (ad – "near", and renes – "kidneys").

The adrenal gland makes hormones which control stress. It is involved in the production of steroid hormones. Among these hormones are cortisol and adrenaline. The gland is made up of two types of tissues: the centrally located tissue is called the adrenal medulla and outside this lies the adrenal cortex.

The adrenal glands are known as "suprarenal glands" in humans. In many animals the glands are next to the kidneys, but they are cap-like structures on top of the kidneys in humans.

Cortex[change | change source]

Negative feedback in the HPA axis
Steroidogenesis in the adrenal glands – different steps occur in different layers of the gland

The hormones secreted from the cortex region are called adrenocorticosteroids or corticoids. These are the hormones it makes: [1]

Medulla[change | change source]

The adrenal medulla, in the cente of the gland, makes: [1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Melmed S. et al 2011. Williams textbook of endocrinology. 12th ed, Saunders. ISBN 978-1437703245
  2. The actions of adrenaline and noradrenaline are responsible for the fight or flight response, characterised by a quickening of breathing and heart rate, an increase in blood pressure, and constriction of blood vessels in many parts of the body.
  3. Gleitman, Henry; Fridlund, Alan J. and Reisberg, Daniel (2004). Psychology (6 ed.). Norton. ISBN 0-393-97767-6.

Endocrine system
Adrenal gland - Corpus luteum - Hypothalamus - Ovaries - Pancreas - Parathyroid gland - Pineal gland - Pituitary gland - Testes - Thyroid gland - Hormone