12 Facts About Adrenal gland


Each Adrenal gland has an outer cortex which produces steroid hormones and an inner medulla.

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Adrenal gland cortex produces three main types of steroid hormones: mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, and androgens.

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In humans, the right adrenal gland is pyramidal in shape, whereas the left is semilunar or crescent shaped and somewhat larger.

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Each adrenal gland has two distinct parts, each with a unique function, the outer adrenal cortex and the inner medulla, both of which produce hormones.

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Adrenal gland medulla is driven by the sympathetic nervous system via preganglionic fibers originating in the thoracic spinal cord, from vertebrae T5–T11.

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Adrenal gland produces aldosterone, a mineralocorticoid, which is important in the regulation of salt balance and blood volume.

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Layers of the adrenal gland differ by function, with each layer having distinct enzymes that produce different hormones from a common precursor.

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The cortex of the adrenal gland is derived from mesoderm, whereas the medulla is derived from the neural crest, which is of ectodermal origin.

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Cortical development of the adrenal gland is regulated mostly by ACTH, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates cortisol synthesis.

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Adrenal gland medulla is derived from neural crest cells, which come from the ectoderm layer of the embryo.

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Adrenal gland tumors are commonly found as incidentalomas, unexpected asymptomatic tumors found during medical imaging.

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Adrenal gland carcinomas are very rare, with an incidence of 1 case per million per year.

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