Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Cortex Axis

by Thad Wilson, PhD

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    Adrenal hormones. There are four main ones we need to think about or classifications. Aldosterone, androgen, cortisol and epinephrine. We'll specifically discuss the adrenal cortex hormones different than the adrenal medulla hormones. The adrenal cortex hormones involves the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal cortex axis. So in the hypothalamus where we consider what's the most important, it's the paraventicular nucleus. The paraventicular nucleus is what is going to release CRH. That will then be released to the anterior pituitary to stimulate corticotropes. These corticotropes will then release another hormone which is called ACTH. How is this process regulated? The hypothalamus releases the hormones CRH, stimulating the anterior pituitary to release ACTH. ACTH has some negative feedback capabilities on it's own. It can feedback to the paraventicular nucleus and decrease CRH release. The adrenal cortex hormones, such as cortisol will also have negative feedback components. That will feedback both to the anterior pituitary to decrease ACTH as well as CRH from the hypothalamus. So we have a multiple layered negative feedback system for adrenal cortex hormones. Also we have a couple other stimulatory events. Stresses such as physical stress, mental stress and even some biological stresses such as low glucose can feed into the system and drive it forward. Meaning that despite negative feedback control, you can override this process by the stresses stimulating the release of CRH. Which will increase the release of ACTH. Which will then increase cortisol. There are also lot of effects of biological rhythms. And there are number of biological rhythms that we need to concern ourselves with. There are those that last about a day which are circadian rhythms. There are ones that are associated with longer cycle such as in growth and development. Even some cycles that will last less than a day called ultradian rhythm....

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Cortex Axis by Thad Wilson, PhD is from the course Endocrine Physiology.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Nicotinic type 2 receptors
    2. Muscarinic type 2 receptors
    3. Alpha-adrenergic type 2 receptors
    4. Beta- adrenergic type 2 receptors

    Author of lecture Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Cortex Axis

     Thad Wilson, PhD

    Thad Wilson, PhD

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