Adrenal Glands Function, Adrenal Gland Hormones and Their Functions
The cortex and medulla of the adrenal glands perform different functions. The hormones released by the cortex regulate the body's metabolic rate, maintain a balance of minerals, maintain blood pressure and also aid the immune system. Following are the main hormones released by the cortex:
Adrenal Gland Hormones
Function of Aldosterone Hormone
Aldosterone belongs to the class of mineralocorticoids, hormones responsible for maintaining the balance of salt and water in the body. Therefore, aldosterone is mainly responsible for the regulation of blood pressure. It affects the kidneys to control the amount of minerals reabsorbed into the blood during the formation of urine. This is one of the important adrenal gland hormones released by this organ.
Function of Cortisol Hormone
Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone and is responsible for the metabolism of glucose and other carbohydrates, as well as fats and proteins. It is also known as hydrocortisone hormone.
Function of Corticosterone Hormone
Corticosterone is another glucocorticoid. It works along with cortisol to aid the immune system of the body. It also fights inflammation.
Function of Androgens Hormone
The main androgenic hormone released by the cortex is androstenedione which is a precursor for testosterone. The latter plays a significant role in the development of secondary male sexual characteristics.
Hormones of Medulla and their Functions
Function of Adrenaline Hormone
It is also known as epinephrine and is released in response to stress, danger or excitement. Adrenaline produces a set of effects which prepare the body for “fight or flight”. The blood glucose level increases in order to make the source of energy readily available for the body. Moreover, the heart beat increases so that blood can be pumped faster throughout the body, providing oxygen and other nutrients, especially to the muscles.
Function of Noradrenalin Hormone
It is also known as norepinephrine. It causes vascontriction of the blood vessels, leading to a high blood pressure. Norepinephrine also acts under stress conditions along with epinephrine to prepare the body for situations of fright or danger. It is a hormone which also acts as a neurotransmitter and affects the heart rate.