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Blood pressure

cortisol effect on p. 337


cortisol effect on p. 337


cortisol and p. 337

Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) p. 335

cortisol regulation p. 337

Cortisol p. 337

adrenal cortex secretion p. 332

congenital adrenal hyperplasias p. 338

in Cushing syndrome p. 354

primary adrenal insufficiency p. 355

signaling pathways for p. 353


cortisol and p. 337

Gluconeogenesis p. 76

cortisol and p. 337


cortisol effect on p. 337


arachidonic acid pathway p. 498

Insulin resistance

cortisol p. 337

Leukotrienes p. 498

cortisol effects p. 337


cortisol and p. 337

Osteoblasts p. 473

cortisol effect on p. 337


cortisol effect on p. 337


cortisol and p. 337


Cortisol is a steroid hormone that helps regulate the metabolic and immune pathways of our body. Cortisol belongs to the glucocorticoid class of hormones produced by a pair of adrenal glands which are located above each kidney.

Each gland is made up of an inner medulla, which secretes catecholamines, and an outer cortex. The adrenal cortex itself is divided into three zones, each one secreting a different steroid hormone.

The outermost zone is the zona glomerulosa, which secretes mineralocorticoids. Next, there’s the zona fasciculata, which secretes glucocorticoids, cortisol being the most important one. And finally, there’s the zona reticularis that secretes androgens.

Cortisol production is controlled by the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. The hypothalamus, which is at the base of the brain, secretes corticotropin releasing hormone which is sensed by the anterior, or front part of the pituitary gland.

In the anterior pituitary, the corticotropin releasing hormone binds to a surface protein on a group of pituitary cells, called corticotroph cells, and stimulates them to release adrenocorticotropic hormone, or ACTH, into the bloodstream.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone then travels to the adrenal glands, binds to receptors on the cells of the adrenal cortex, and makes them take up cholesterol from the blood.

The cells of the zona fasciculata contain the enzymes needed to convert cholesterol into cortisol. Cortisol is structurally derived from cholesterol, which is a lipid molecule, and can slip in and out of cells relatively easily.


Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands' zona fasciculata. Its effects include stimulation of gluconeogenesis which is glucose formation, blood pressure elevation, the suppression of the immune system as it promotes an anti-inflammatory state, increased insulin resistance, and reduced bone formation.


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