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Definition of «Adrenal gland»

Adrenal glandAdrenal glandAdrenal glandAdrenal gland

Adrenal gland: One of a pair of small glands, each of which sits on top of one of the kidneys. The adrenal is made up of an outer wall (the cortex) and an inner portion (the medulla).

The adrenal glands produce hormones that help control the heart rate, blood pressure, the way the body uses food, and other vital functions. The adrenal cortex secretes steroid (cortisone-related) hormones and mineralocortoids that regulate the levels of minerals such as sodium and potassium in the blood.

The adrenal medulla makes adrenaline (adrenaline) and noradrenaline (noradrenaline). Adrenaline is secreted in response to low blood levels of glucose as well as exercise and stress; it causes the breakdown of the storage product glycogen to the sugar glucose in the liver, facilitates the release of fatty acids from adipose (fat) tissue, causes dilation (widening) of the small arteries within muscle and increases the output of the heart. Noradrenaline is a neurohormone, a neurotransmitter, for of most of the so-called sympathetic nervous system.

The name "adrenal" comes from the Latin "ad-", toward + "rebes", kidney. It refers to the perch of this gland atop the kidney. The adrenals are also called the suprarenal glands, "supra-" in Latin meaning "on top."

For More Information «Adrenal gland»

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  • adrenal gland: Definition from Answers.com

    n. Either of two small, dissimilarly shaped endocrine glands, one located above each kidney, consisting of the cortex, which secretes several steroid hormones, and ...

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  • Adrenal Gland Disorders - NICHD - The Eunice Kennedy Shriver ...

    The adrenal glands are the part of the body responsible for releasing three different classes of hormones. These hormones control many important functions in ...

  • Adrenal gland - New World Encyclopedia

    In mammals, the adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit atop the kidneys, as indicated by their name (ad, "near ...

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