The adrenals are situated above each kidney. They are responsible for releasing a number of hormones which are secreted in to the blood. The adrenal cortex is the outer layer of the gland, and the medulla is the layer of the gland.
Hormones Secreted By Adrenal Glands
Adrenal cortex is separated in to 3 zones – zona glomerulosa, zona fasciculata and zona reticularis. Each layer is in charge of the synthesis of certain hormones.
The zona glomerulosa produces and releases mineralocorticoids, the zona fasciculata is responsible for the synthesis of glucocorticoid hormones, and the zona reticularis manufactures androgens.
Function Of Adrenal Cortex Hormones
- The most vital mineralocorticoid is aldosterone, which regulates the level of sodium and potassium in the body. In turn, it is governed by the renin angiotensin mechanism. It controls blood pressure and fluid balance.
- An important glucocorticoid is cortisol. This hormone carries out innumerable critical functions. It plays a pivotal role in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It sends a message to the liver to make glucose and glycogen and directs the adipose tissue to release fatty acids in to the blood. Glucocorticoids regulate inflammatory responses as well.
- Androgens synthesized by the zona reticularis help in the development of male sexual characters and the development of male sex organs.
These are the vital functions of the hormones secreted by the cortex of the adrenal gland. Any abnormalities in the manufacture and release of the hormones manifests in the form of various health problems / disorders.