adrenocorticotrophic hormone

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Related to adrenocorticotrophic hormone: Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Test, follicle stimulating hormone, Adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency

adrenocorticotrophic hormone.


A 39-amino acid hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland, which regulates adrenocortical activity, stimulating release of cortisol, mineralocorticoids, and adrenal androgens; pituitary ACTH is regulated by corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH).
Daily pattern ACTH levels vary over the space of a 24-hour day, peaking at 6–8 am and evening 6–11 pm; ACTH suppression or stimulation testing may be required to confirm the diagnosis of changes in adrenal function.
ACTH increased in Addison’s disease, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing disease, pituitary-dependent Cushing syndrome, ectopic ACTH-producing tumours, Nelson syndrome.
ACTH decreased in Secondary adrenocortical insufficiency, adrenal carcinoma, adenoma. 
Ref range < 120 pg/mL

ad·re·no·cor·ti·co·tro·phic hor·mone

(ă-drēnō-kōŕti-kō-trōfik hōŕmōn)
Pituitary hormone that serves to stimulate the growth and nutrition of the suprarenal gland.


chemical substance that acts locally or is carried via blood to another body part, to cause a regulatory effect on functional activity or structure
  • adrenocorticotrophic hormone; ACTH; corticotrophin; adrenocorticotrophin anterior pituitary hormone stimulating release of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid and sex hormones (androgens) from cortex of adrenal gland; plasma ACTH levels are reduced in Cushing's syndrome (due to excess production of adrenal cortex hormones) and raised in Addison's disease (due to reduced adrenal cortex function)

  • antidiuretic hormone; ADH; vasopressin anterior pituitary hormone; causes urine concentration by increasing resorption of solute at the distal convoluted tubule of nephron; absence of ADH causes diabetes insipidus

  • follicle-stimulating hormone; FSH anterior pituitary hormone; acts on ovaries/testes to influence the release of the sex hormones (oestrogen/testosterone), and induce sperm growth/ovulation

  • growth hormone; GH; somatotropin anterior pituitary hormone; acts on many tissues, inducing normal growth

  • luteinizing hormone; LH anterior pituitary hormone; acts on ovaries/testes to influence sex hormone release (oestrogen/testosterone) and induce sperm growth/ovulation


adrenocorticotropic; corticotropic.

adrenocorticotrophic hormone
a hormone elaborated by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland that stimulates the action of the adrenal cortex. See also acth.
adrenocorticotrophic hormone secreting tumor
adenoma of either posterior or intermediate lobe; causes a syndrome of cortical excess (Cushing's syndrome).
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