adrenal glands

adrenal glands
= suprarenal glands
two triangular endocrine glands, each of which covers the superior surface of a kidney. Each gland has two parts, the medulla and cortex. The medulla forms the grey core of the gland; it consists mainly of chromaffin tissue and is stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system to produce adrenaline and noradrenaline. The cortex is a yellowish tissue surrounding the medulla. It is derived embryologically from mesoderm and is stimulated by pituitary hormones (principally ACTH) to produce three kinds of corticosteroid hormones, which affect carbohydrate metabolism (e.g. cortisol), electrolyte metabolism (e.g. aldosterone), and the sex glands (oestrogens and androgens).

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  • adrenal — [ə drē′nəl] adj. [ AD + RENAL] 1. near the kidneys 2. of or from the adrenal glands n. an adrenal gland …   English World dictionary

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  • adrenal cancer — Cancer that forms in the tissues of the adrenal glands (two glands located just above the kidneys). The adrenal glands make hormones that control heart rate, blood pressure, and other important body functions. Adrenal cancer that starts in the… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

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