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Adrenal Gland

Adrenal Gland

The adrenal glands are triangle-shaped organs which cap the kidneys. Each gland consists of two areas: the adrenal medulla and adrenal cortex.

The adrenal medulla secretes epinephrine, or adrenaline, and norepinephrine. Epinephrine is involved in glycogenolysis, which raises the blood sugar. Norepinephrine is involved in gluconeogenesis, which lowers blood sugar. It also acts as a neurotransmitter in the sympathetic nervous system.

The adrenal cortex is made up of different zones of cell layers. The outermost layer, the zona glomerulosa, produces and secretes mineral corticoids which are involved in maintaining electrolyte concentrations in the blood. The middle layer, the zona fasciculata, secretes and produces glucocorticoids which are hormones involved in many body processes, including glycogen storage in the liver. The innermost layer, zona reticularis, secrete sex hormones such as estradiol and testosterone.

Hadley, M. E. 1984. Endocrinology Prentice-Hall, Inc, New Jersey. 547 pp.

Van Amerongen, C. The Way Things Work; Book Of The Body. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979.


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