- Glucocorticoids affect carbohydrate metabolism.
- Glucocorticoids regulate cell metabolism.
- It stimulates the synthesis of glucose from glycogen in the liver.
- It also stimulates the breakdown of fats in adipose tissue.
- Glucocorticoids are anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic agent.
- Aldosterone helps to reabsorb sodium ions from the renal tubules. This causes an increase in sodium ion concentration in the blood.
- It causes increasedexcretion of potassium ions.
- Aldosterone regulates the electrolyte balance, body fluid's volume, osmotic pressure and blood pressure.
They are also called sex hormones of the adrenal glands. The male sex hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex are called androgens. The female sex hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex are oestrogen. Sex hormones are responsible for the development of secondary sexual characters.
The adrenal medulla is composed of rounded groups of granular cells.
These cells are called chromaffin cells or phaeochromocytes.
They are richly supplied with sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves.
The medulla of the adrenal glands secretes two hormones that include:
Functions of adrenal medullary hormones:
- Epinephrine promotes the conversion of glycogen to glucose in the liver and muscles.
- It causes increased activity of the heart that increases heartbeat and blood pressure.
- Epinephrine increases the rate of respiration through dilation of bronchi and trachea.
- It causes dilation of the pupils of the eyes.
- Epinephrine causes the constriction of blood vessels and thus decreases blood flow through the skin.