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Related to corticotropin: corticotropin releasing factor
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.