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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 ?
Effect of glucocorticoid replacement therapy on glucose tolerance and intermediary metabolites in hypopituitary adults.
MacDonald, from the Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee, Scotland, and colleagues compared cardiovascular events among 68,781 glucocorticoid users and for 82,202 non-users.
Glucocorticoids and triglyceride transport: Effects on triglyceride secretion rates, lipoprotein lipase, and plasma lipoproteins in the rat.
Gen antagonism was blocked by ICI, and RU486 blocked Dex-induction of LEFTY1 mRNA expression, indicating that co-regulation of LEFTY1 gene expression by glucocorticoids and Gen requires GR and ER.
These results show, for the first time, that the peripheral biological clocks located in white blood cells can be synchronized through the administration of glucocorticoid tablets.
While the current study does not propose using glucocorticoid pills right away, it opens the path for using glucocorticoid therapy along with light therapy to better synchronise the biological clock in people.
Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified a mechanism that helps leukemia cells resist glucocorticoids, a finding that lays the foundation for more effective treatment of cancer and possibly a host of autoimmune diseases.
Despite major new developments in pharmacotherapy for rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and many other serious inflammatory diseases, glucocorticoids such as prednisone remain a mainstay of the physician's armamentarium for these chronic disorders.
A very large percentage of patients who use glucocorticoids will develop hypercalciuria, and restricting sodium in the diet will go a long way toward resolving this.
Levels of the hormone glucocorticoid are twice as high in winter compared with summer.
Predictors of UFF and potential bioactive free glucocorticoids (UFF + UFE) in healthy women (n = 15).

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