Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to Adrenal glands: Addison's disease, pituitary gland, Adrenal Gland Cancer, Adrenal fatigue, Thyroid glands
adrenal glandsThe small internally secreting (ENDOCRINE) organs which sit like triangular caps one on top of each KIDNEY (hence the name). Each adrenal has two distinct parts, the inner core, which produces ADRENALINE, and an outer layer (the cortex) which produces various steroid hormones. Formerly known as suprarenal glands, which, of course, means the same thing.
The two glands that are located on top of the kidneys. These glands secrete several hormones, including the glucocorticoids which, among other things, influence the way the immune system works, and the mineralocorticoids, which affect retention of water and sodium.
adrenal glandsendocrine glands sited above each kidney. The outermost region, the adrenal cortex, secretes steroid hormones: the glucocorticoids (principally cortisol), mineralocorticoids (principally aldosterone) and androgens in both male and female. The inner adrenal medulla secretes the catecholamines, mainly adrenaline and noradrenaline, under the control of the sympathetic nervous system. See also adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), hormones, steroids; Table 1.
|Site of production||Name of hormone||Main targets||Involved in regulating:||Secretion controlled by:|
|Hypothalamus||Releasing and inhibiting hormones||Anterior pituitary (via local blood vessels)||Secretion of anterior pituitary hormones||Other brain regions; feedback re regulated hormones and their actions|
|Neurohormones released from posterior pituitary:|
|Oxytocin||Uterus, breasts||Labour and lactation||Afferent information from target organs|
|Antidiuretic hormone (ADH, vasopressin)||Kidneys||Water loss: ECF volume and osmolality||Hypothalamic osmoreceptors|
|Anterior pituitary||(Human) growth hormone (H)GH||Most cells||Growth and metabolism||Hypothalamic releasing and inhibiting hormones via local blood vessels|
|Thyroid-stimulating (TSH)||Thyroid gland||Thyroid secretions|
|Gonadotrophins||Ovary or testis||Germ cell maturation and hormone secretions|
|Adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH)||Adrenal cortex||Cortisol secretion|
|Pineal body||Melatonin||Widespread, including brain, thymus, etc.||Hypothalamus; varying light input from retina|
|Parathyroids||Parathormone||Bone, kidneys, gut||ECF [Ca2+]|
|Medulla||Heart, smooth muscle, glands||Cardiovascular and metabolic adjustments to activity and stress||Sympathetic nervous system|
|Atrial wall||Atrial natriuretic hormone||Kidneys||Blood volume; increases sodium (therefore also water) loss in urine||Stretch of atrial wall by venous pressure|
|Gonads: Testis||Androgens (mainly testosterone)||Genitalia and other tissues||Reproductive function and sex characteristics||Anterior pituitary gonadotrophins|
|Ovary||Uterus, breasts and other tissues||Menstrual cycle, pregnancy, lactation|
|Pancreas||Blood levels, storage and cellular uptake of nutrients, notably glucose, but also proteins and fats||Blood levels of nutrients; autonomic nervous system; other gastrointesinal hormones|
|Stomach||Gastrin||Gastric acid-secreting cells||Gastrointestinal functions: motility, digestive juices and other secretions||Local chemical and mechanical factors in the alimentary tract|
|Small intestine||Several GI functions including bile flow, pancreatic enzyme and exocrine secretions||Ingestion of food, distension of GI tract|