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1. a hormone secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland that stimulates the cortex of the adrenal gland to secrete its hormones, including corticosterone. If production of corticotropin falls below normal, the adrenal cortex decreases in size, and production of the cortical hormones declines.
2. a pharmaceutical preparation of animal-derived corticotropin, administered intravenously for diagnostic testing of adrenocortical function and subcutaneously or intramuscularly, in a slowly absorbed gel form (repository corticotropin), as an anticonvulsant for treating infantile spasms. Called also adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), adrenocorticotropin, and corticotrophin.

a·dre·no·cor·ti·co·tro·pic hor·mone (ACTH),

the hormone of the anterior lobe of the hypophysis that governs the nutrition and growth of the adrenal cortex, stimulates it to functional activity, and shows extraadrenal adipokinetic activity; it is a polypeptide containing 39 amino acids, but exact structure varies from one species to another; sometimes prefixed by α to distinguish it from β-corticotropin. The first 13 amino acids at the N-terminal region are identical to α-melanotropin.


/cor·ti·co·tro·pin/ (-tro´pin)
1. a hormone secreted by the adenohypophysis, having a stimulating effect on the adrenal cortex.
2. a preparation of the hormone derived from animals, used for diagnostic testing of adrenocortical function and as an anticonvulsant in infantile spasms.


(kôr′tĭ-kō-trō′pən) also





 ACTH, see there.

ad·re·no·cor·ti·co·tro·pic hor·mone

(ACTH) (ă-drē'nō-kōr'ti-kō-trō'pik hōr'mōn)
The hormone of the anterior lobe of the hypophysis that governs the nutrition and growth of the cortex of the suprarenal gland and stimulates it to functional activity; also possesses extraadrenal adipokinetic activity.
Synonym(s): adrenotropin, corticotropin.

adrenocorticotropic, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) or corticotropin

a small, proteinaceous hormone secreted by the anterior lobe of the PITUITARY. It controls the secretion of other hormones of the cortex of the ADRENAL GLAND.

corticotropin (kôr´tikōtrō´pin),

n a purified preparation of adrenocorticotropic hormone derived from the pituitary gland of animals. See also ACTH.


1. adrenocorticotropic hormone. See also acth.
2. a pharmaceutical preparation derived from the anterior pituitary of mammals and used to stimulate adrenal cortical activity in various conditions, such as allergy, hypersensitivity and rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been used experimentally in a large number of disorders.

corticotropin-like intermediary peptide
a polypeptide hormone of the intermediate pituitary; stimulates insulin release from the pancreas.
corticotropin-releasing factor
secreted by the hypothalamus and conveyed by local circulation to the corticotrophs in the pituitary which are then stimulated to produce ACTH. Called also corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRF).
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