Glucocorticoids and Gonadocorticoids (Nursing)

by Jasmine Clark

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    00:00 Next we have our glucocorticoids. These influence the metabolism of most of our cells and help us resist stressors. It keeps our blood glucose levels relatively constant and maintains blood pressure by increasing the action of vasoconstriction. The glucocorticoid hormones that you are most familiar with include cortisol, also called hydrocortisone, and this is the only glucocorticoid that is actually found in significant amounts in humans. We also have cortisone and corticosterone. Cortisol is going to be released in response to ACTH. ACTH is then released in response to corticotropin-releasing hormone and corticotropin-releasing hormone is released in response to low cortisol levels. Once we have increased cortisol levels, they will act as a negative feedback and inhibit ACTH and CRH through negative feedback. Cortisol secretion cycles are going to be governed by patterns of eating and activity. Also, acute stress such as that during infection or a physical or emotional trauma can interrupt this rhythm. The central nervous system has the ability to override the cortisol inhibition of ACTH and CRH which will then lead to more cortisol secretion during the stressful events. Cortisol can cause an increase in our blood levels of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids. The prime metabolic effect of cortisol is gluconeogenesis which is the formation of glucose from our fats and our proteins. It encourages our cells to use fatty acids for fuel so that we can save our glucose that we need for the brain. Recall that the brain can only use glucose for energy.

    02:21 Other functions of cortisol include the enhancement of vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction causes a rise in blood pressure which allows for a quick distribution of nutrients to cells in that area. So let's look at what happens when we have excessive levels of glucocorticoids.

    02:46 First, it can depress cartilage and bone formation. It can inhibit inflammation by decreasing the release of inflammatory chemicals which is why sometimes people who are in pain get steroid shots. It can also depress the immune system. And finally cortisol has the ability to disrupt normal cardiovascular, neural, and gastrointestinal functions. Glucocorticoid drugs can also control symptoms of many inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and allergies. But while these can help alleviate the symptoms of these inflammatory diseases, they can also cause these undesirable effects. The next type of hormone that is going to be secreted by the adrenal cortex is the gonadocorticoids. These are going to secrete weak androgens which are then going to be converted to testosterone in males and estrogen in females. This may contribute to the onset of puberty as well as the appearance of secondary sex characteristics and can also contribute to the sex drive in women and as a source of estrogen in postmenopausal women.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Glucocorticoids and Gonadocorticoids (Nursing) by Jasmine Clark is from the course Endocrine System – Physiology (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. To influence metabolism to resist stressors, keep glucose levels stable, and maintain blood pressure by increasing vasoconstrictors
    2. To influence appetite, control fluid/electrolyte balance in the kidneys, and maintain blood pressure by increasing vasodilators
    3. To maintain endocrine gland function, act to increase glucose levels in response to stress, and increase stores of glycogen in the liver
    4. To influence metabolism during times of stress, raise blood pressure through release of aldosterone, and ensure adequate release of gonadal hormones
    1. Depression of cartilage and bone formation
    2. Inhibition of inflammation
    3. Triggering of inflammation
    4. Stimulation of the immune system
    5. Support of normal neural functions

    Author of lecture Glucocorticoids and Gonadocorticoids (Nursing)

     Jasmine Clark

    Jasmine Clark

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