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Related to glucocorticoids: cortisol, Corticosteroids


CORTISOL and other similar hormones produced by the outer zone (cortex) of the adrenal gland. The glucocorticoids suppress inflammation and convert AMINO ACIDS from protein breakdown into glucose, thus raising the blood sugar levels. Their effect is thus antagonistic to that of INSULIN.


Any of a group of hormones (like cortisone) that influence many body functions and are widely used in medicine, such as for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis inflammation.


the group of corticosteroid hormones (mainly cortisol syn hydrocortisone, of which cortisone is the precursor) produced by the adrenal cortex, under the control of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary. Their major actions on nutrient metabolism have the net effect of promoting glucose and free fatty acid availability as fuels. Also vital for normal cellular processes as diverse, for example, as excitation-contraction coupling and the health of connective tissues. Synthetic steroids such as prednisolone and dexamethasone have similar actions and are used in the treatment of, for example, asthma and rheumatic conditions. Banned in sport due to their powerful anti-inflammatory action and effect of producing euphoria and masking pain. (Not to be confused with anabolic steroids). See also adrenal glands, hormones; Table 1.
Table 1: Hormones
Site of productionName of hormoneMain targetsInvolved in regulating:Secretion controlled by:
HypothalamusReleasing and inhibiting hormonesAnterior pituitary (via local blood vessels)Secretion of anterior pituitary hormonesOther brain regions; feedback re regulated hormones and their actions
Neurohormones released from posterior pituitary:
OxytocinUterus, breastsLabour and lactationAfferent information from target organs
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH, vasopressin)KidneysWater loss: ECF volume and osmolalityHypothalamic osmoreceptors
Anterior pituitary(Human) growth hormone (H)GHMost cellsGrowth and metabolismHypothalamic releasing and inhibiting hormones via local blood vessels
ProlactinBreastsMilk production
Trophic hormones:
Thyroid-stimulating (TSH)Thyroid glandThyroid secretions
GonadotrophinsOvary or testisGerm cell maturation and hormone secretions
Adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH)Adrenal cortexCortisol secretion
Pineal bodyMelatoninWidespread, including brain, thymus, etc.
  • Sleep/wake cycle
  • Antioxidant
  • Immune system
Hypothalamus; varying light input from retina
  • Thyroxine
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Calcitonin
  • Most cells
  • Bone, kidneys, gut
  • Cellular oxidative metabolism
  • Decreases ECF [Ca2+]
  • TSH from anterior pituitary. Negative feedback from blood hormone concentration
  • ECF [Ca2+]
ParathyroidsParathormoneBone, kidneys, gut
  • Calcium and phosphorus absorption, secretion and turnover in bone.
  • Increases ECF [Ca2+]
ECF [Ca2+]
Adrenal: Cortex
  • Cortisol
  • Aldosterone
  • Androgens
  • Most cells
  • Kidneys
  • Gonads & other tissues
  • Metabolism
  • Response to stress
  • Na and K balance
  • Sex characteristics and reproductive function
  • ACTH from anterior pituitary
  • ECF [Na+] [K+]
  • Renin-angiotensin
  • ACTH
  • Adrenaline
  • Noradrenaline
Heart, smooth muscle, glandsCardiovascular and metabolic adjustments to activity and stressSympathetic nervous system
Atrial wallAtrial natriuretic hormoneKidneysBlood volume; increases sodium (therefore also water) loss in urineStretch of atrial wall by venous pressure
Gonads: TestisAndrogens (mainly testosterone)Genitalia and other tissuesReproductive function and sex characteristicsAnterior pituitary gonadotrophins
  • Oestrogens
  • Progesterone
Uterus, breasts and other tissuesMenstrual cycle, pregnancy, lactation
  • Insulin, glucagon
  • Somatostatin
  • Most cells
  • Other secretory cells in the pancreas
Blood levels, storage and cellular uptake of nutrients, notably glucose, but also proteins and fatsBlood levels of nutrients; autonomic nervous system; other gastrointesinal hormones
Alimentary tract
StomachGastrinGastric acid-secreting cellsGastrointestinal functions: motility, digestive juices and other secretionsLocal chemical and mechanical factors in the alimentary tract
Small intestine
  • Secretin
  • Cholecystokinin- pancreozymin (CCK-PZ)
  • Somatostatin, motilin
  • Other peptide hormones including vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)
  • Widespread on
  • GI tract
Several GI functions including bile flow, pancreatic enzyme and exocrine secretionsIngestion of food, distension of GI tract

glucocorticoids (gloo´kōkôr´təkoidz), (antiinflammatory hormone, 11-oxycorticoids) the adrenocortical steroid hormones that affect glycogenesis in the liver. They are antiinflammatory, are active in protection against stress, and affect carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Typical of the group are cortisol and cortisone.
References in periodicals archive ?
Like in our patient, the most commonly used glucocorticoid replacement regimen is in two daily doses of administration, with a half to two-thirds administered in the morning and second dose 6-8 hour after the first one to mimic the physiological cortisol secretion pattern.
Increasing lines of evidence indicate that the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is regulated not only by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling but also by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K).
Research with animals has shown that a long term exposure to glucocorticoids destroys the neurons located in the hippocampal formation by decreasing the entry of glucose and decreasing the reuptake of glutamate.
At very low doses, glucocorticoids may actually prevent bone loss in some RA patients because of their inhibitory effects on pro-inflammatory cytokines that modulate osteoclast activity as well as their beneficial effects on functional status, which promotes more weight-bearing activities.
By taking into account the daily rise and fall of cryptochrome levels, the scientists say, doctors might be able to better time administration of glucocorticoid drugs to avoid certain side effects related to sugar metabolism.
These findings suggest that the administration of glucocorticoids ameliorate PTSD symptoms and chronic anxiety by enhancing glucocorticoid signaling, thus inhibiting the retrieval of traumatic memories and enhancing fear extinction.
Therefore, receptor molecules which are potentially ready to bind therapeutically applied glucocorticoids were determined.
Glucocorticoids are highly lipophilic and enter airway cells to bind to intracellular receptors.
Interpretation & conclusions: The protocol used was safe and spared unnecessary use of glucocorticoids peri- and post-operatively.
Their effect is brought about by their anti-inflammatory and immuno suppressive properties but Hypothalamic Pituitary adrenal axis (HPA axis) support is a crucial rule of low dose glucocorticoids in stable RA14.
Sauvageau discovered that a class of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids thats selectively inhibits the growth of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells containing RUNX1 mutations in cell culture.

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