Module 12: The Endocrine System

Lesson 6: The Adrenal Glands

Tuyến Thượng Thận

Nội dung bài học:
Mỗi bài học (lesson) bao gồm 4 phần chính: Thuật ngữ, Luyện Đọc, Luyện Nghe, và Bàn Luận.
Sử dụng tính năng:
Bôi hoặc nhấp đôi vào từ, sau đó ấn vào biểu tượng để tra nghĩa từ đó. Khi bạn đưa chuột đến câu (hoặc khi nhấp vào câu trên màn hình điện thoại), gợi ý về cách hiểu câu đó sẽ hiện lên. Cuối cùng, bạn có thể đánh dấu hoàn thành toàn bộ bài học bằng cách ấn vào nút “Hoàn Thành” ở cuối trang.
Đăng ký và đăng nhập
Bạn cần đăng ký và đăng nhập vào tài khoản để lưu quá trình học.
Dưới đây là danh sách những thuật ngữ Y khoa của module The Endocrine System.
Khái quát được số lượng thuật ngữ sẽ xuất hiện trong bài đọc và nghe sẽ giúp bạn thoải mái tiêu thụ nội dung hơn. Sau khi hoàn thành nội dung đọc và nghe, bạn hãy quay lại đây và luyện tập (practice) để quen dần các thuật ngữ này. Đừng ép bản thân phải nhớ các thuật ngữ này vội vì bạn sẽ gặp và ôn lại danh sách này trong những bài học (lesson) khác của cùng một module.

Medical Terminology: The Endocrine System

disorder in adults caused when abnormally high levels of GH trigger growth of bones in the face, hands, and feet
adenylyl cyclase
membrane-bound enzyme that converts ATP to cyclic AMP, creating cAMP, as a result of G-protein activation
adrenal cortex
outer region of the adrenal glands consisting of multiple layers of epithelial cells and capillary networks that produces mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids
adrenal glands
endocrine glands located at the top of each kidney that are important for the regulation of the stress response, blood pressure and blood volume, water homeostasis, and electrolyte levels
adrenal medulla
inner layer of the adrenal glands that plays an important role in the stress response by producing epinephrine and norepinephrine
adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)
anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the adrenal cortex to secrete corticosteroid hormones (also called corticotropin)
alarm reaction
the short-term stress, or the fight-or-flight response, of stage one of the general adaptation syndrome mediated by the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine
hormone produced and secreted by the adrenal cortex that stimulates sodium and fluid retention and increases blood volume and blood pressure
alpha cell
pancreatic islet cell type that produces the hormone glucagon
angiotensin-converting enzyme
the enzyme that converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II
antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
hypothalamic hormone that is stored by the posterior pituitary and that signals the kidneys to reabsorb water
atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP)
peptide hormone produced by the walls of the atria in response to high blood pressure, blood volume, or blood sodium that reduces the reabsorption of sodium and water in the kidneys and promotes vasodilation
chemical signal that elicits a response in the same cell that secreted it
beta cell
pancreatic islet cell type that produces the hormone insulin
peptide hormone produced and secreted by the parafollicular cells (C cells) of the thyroid gland that functions to decrease blood calcium levels
neuroendocrine cells of the adrenal medulla
viscous fluid in the central cavity of thyroid follicles, containing the glycoprotein thyroglobulin
glucocorticoid important in gluconeogenesis, the catabolism of glycogen, and downregulation of the immune system
cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)
second messenger that, in response to adenylyl cyclase activation, triggers a phosphorylation cascade
delta cell
minor cell type in the pancreas that secretes the hormone somatostatin
diabetes mellitus
condition caused by destruction or dysfunction of the beta cells of the pancreas or cellular resistance to insulin that results in abnormally high blood glucose levels
diacylglycerol (DAG)
molecule that, like cAMP, activates protein kinases, thereby initiating a phosphorylation cascade
decrease in the number of hormone receptors, typically in response to chronically excessive levels of a hormone
endocrine gland
tissue or organ that secretes hormones into the blood and lymph without ducts such that they may be transported to organs distant from the site of secretion
endocrine system
cells, tissues, and organs that secrete hormones as a primary or secondary function and play an integral role in normal bodily processes
primary and most potent catecholamine hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla in response to short-term stress; also called adrenaline
erythropoietin (EPO)
protein hormone secreted in response to low oxygen levels that triggers the bone marrow to produce red blood cells
class of predominantly female sex hormones important for the development and growth of the female reproductive tract, secondary sex characteristics, the female reproductive cycle, and the maintenance of pregnancy
exocrine system
cells, tissues, and organs that secrete substances directly to target tissues via glandular ducts
first messenger
hormone that binds to a cell membrane hormone receptor and triggers activation of a second messenger system
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the production and maturation of sex cells
G protein
protein associated with a cell membrane hormone receptor that initiates the next step in a second messenger system upon activation by hormone–receptor binding
general adaptation syndrome (GAS)
the human body’s three-stage response pattern to short- and long-term stress
disorder in children caused when abnormally high levels of GH prompt excessive growth
pancreatic hormone that stimulates the catabolism of glycogen to glucose, thereby increasing blood glucose levels
hormones produced by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex that influence glucose metabolism
enlargement of the thyroid gland either as a result of iodine deficiency or hyperthyroidism
hormones that regulate the function of the gonads
growth hormone (GH)
anterior pituitary hormone that promotes tissue building and influences nutrient metabolism (also called somatotropin)
secretion of an endocrine organ that travels via the bloodstream or lymphatics to induce a response in target cells or tissues in another part of the body
hormone receptor
protein within a cell or on the cell membrane that binds a hormone, initiating the target cell response
abnormally high blood glucose levels
disorder caused by overproduction of PTH that results in abnormally elevated blood calcium
clinically abnormal, elevated level of thyroid hormone in the blood; characterized by an increased metabolic rate, excess body heat, sweating, diarrhea, weight loss, and increased heart rate
disorder caused by underproduction of PTH that results in abnormally low blood calcium
hypophyseal portal system
network of blood vessels that enables hypothalamic hormones to travel into the anterior lobe of the pituitary without entering the systemic circulation
region of the diencephalon inferior to the thalamus that functions in neural and endocrine signaling
clinically abnormal, low level of thyroid hormone in the blood; characterized by low metabolic rate, weight gain, cold extremities, constipation, and reduced mental activity
stalk containing vasculature and neural tissue that connects the pituitary gland to the hypothalamus (also called the pituitary stalk)
hormone secreted by the male and female gonads that inhibits FSH production by the anterior pituitary
inositol triphosphate (IP3)
molecule that initiates the release of calcium ions from intracellular stores
pancreatic hormone that enhances the cellular uptake and utilization of glucose, thereby decreasing blood glucose levels
insulin-like growth factors (IGF)
protein that enhances cellular proliferation, inhibits apoptosis, and stimulates the cellular uptake of amino acids for protein synthesis
protein hormone secreted by adipose tissues in response to food consumption that promotes satiety
luteinizing hormone (LH)
anterior pituitary hormone that triggers ovulation and the production of ovarian hormones, and the production of testosterone
amino acid–derived hormone that is secreted in response to low light and causes drowsiness
hormones produced by the zona glomerulosa cells of the adrenal cortex that influence fluid and electrolyte balance
neonatal hypothyroidism
condition characterized by cognitive deficits, short stature, and other signs and symptoms in people born to people who were iodine-deficient during pregnancy
secondary catecholamine hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla in response to short-term stress; also called noradrenaline
hypothalamic sensory receptor that is stimulated by changes in solute concentration (osmotic pressure) in the blood
hypothalamic hormone stored in the posterior pituitary gland and important in stimulating uterine contractions in labor, milk ejection during breastfeeding, and feelings of attachment (produced by males and females)
organ with both exocrine and endocrine functions located posterior to the stomach that is important for digestion and the regulation of blood glucose
pancreatic islets
specialized clusters of pancreatic cells that have endocrine functions; also called islets of Langerhans
chemical signal that elicits a response in neighboring cells; also called paracrine factor
parathyroid glands
small, round glands embedded in the posterior thyroid gland that produce parathyroid hormone (PTH)
parathyroid hormone (PTH)
peptide hormone produced and secreted by the parathyroid glands in response to low blood calcium levels
phosphodiesterase (PDE)
cytosolic enzyme that deactivates and degrades cAMP
phosphorylation cascade
signaling event in which multiple protein kinases phosphorylate the next protein substrate by transferring a phosphate group from ATP to the protein
pineal gland
endocrine gland that secretes melatonin, which is important in regulating the sleep-wake cycle
cell of the pineal gland that produces and secretes the hormone melatonin
pituitary dwarfism
disorder in children caused when abnormally low levels of GH result in growth retardation
pituitary gland
bean-sized organ suspended from the hypothalamus that produces, stores, and secretes hormones in response to hypothalamic stimulation (also called hypophysis)
PP cell
minor cell type in the pancreas that secretes the hormone pancreatic polypeptide
predominantly female sex hormone important in regulating the female reproductive cycle and the maintenance of pregnancy
prolactin (PRL)
anterior pituitary hormone that promotes development of the mammary glands and the production of breast milk
protein kinase
enzyme that initiates a phosphorylation cascade upon activation
second messenger
molecule that initiates a signaling cascade in response to hormone binding on a cell membrane receptor and activation of a G protein
stage of exhaustion
stage three of the general adaptation syndrome; the body’s long-term response to stress mediated by the hormones of the adrenal cortex
stage of resistance
stage two of the general adaptation syndrome; the body’s continued response to stress after stage one diminishes
steroid hormone secreted by the testes and important in the maturation of sperm cells, growth and development of the reproductive system, and the development of secondary sex characteristics
hormones produced and secreted by the thymus that play an important role in the development and differentiation of T cells
organ that is involved in the development and maturation of T-cells and is particularly active during infancy and childhood
thyroid gland
large endocrine gland responsible for the synthesis of thyroid hormones
thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
anterior pituitary hormone that triggers secretion of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland (also called thyrotropin)
(also, tetraiodothyronine, T4) amino acid–derived thyroid hormone that is more abundant but less potent than T3 and often converted to T3 by target cells
(also, T3) amino acid–derived thyroid hormone that is less abundant but more potent than T4
increase in the number of hormone receptors, typically in response to chronically reduced levels of a hormone
zona fasciculata
intermediate region of the adrenal cortex that produce hormones called glucocorticoids
zona glomerulosa
most superficial region of the adrenal cortex, which produces the hormones collectively referred to as mineralocorticoids
zona reticularis
deepest region of the adrenal cortex, which produces the steroid sex hormones called androgens
Nội dung này đang được cập nhật.
Dưới đây là các bài văn nằm ở bên trái. Ở bên phải là các bài luyện tập (practice) để đánh giá khả năng đọc hiểu của bạn. Sẽ khó khăn trong thời gian đầu nếu vốn từ vựng của bạn còn hạn chế, đặc biệt là từ vựng Y khoa. Hãy kiên nhẫn và đọc nhiều nhất có kể, lượng kiến thức tích tụ dần sẽ giúp bạn đọc thoải mái hơn.
The adrenal glands are wedges of glandular and neuroendocrine tissue adhering to the top of the kidneys by a fibrous capsule (Figure 1). The adrenal glands have a rich blood supply and experience one of the highest rates of blood flow in the body. They are served by several arteries branching off the aorta, including the suprarenal and renal arteries. Blood flows to each adrenal gland at the adrenal cortex and then drains into the adrenal medulla. Adrenal hormones are released into the circulation via the left and right suprarenal veins.

The adrenal gland consists of an outer cortex of glandular tissue and an inner medulla of nervous tissue. The cortex itself is divided into three zones: the zona glomerulosa, the zona fasciculata, and the zona reticularis. Each region secretes its own set of hormones.

The adrenal cortex, as a component of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, secretes steroid hormones important for the regulation of the long-term stress response, blood pressure and blood volume, nutrient uptake and storage, fluid and electrolyte balance, and inflammation. The HPA axis involves the stimulation of hormone release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary by the hypothalamus. ACTH then stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce the hormone cortisol. This pathway will be discussed in more detail below.

The adrenal medulla is neuroendocrine tissue composed of postganglionic sympathetic nervous system (SNS) neurons. It is really an extension of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates homeostasis in the body. The sympathomedullary (SAM) pathway involves the stimulation of the medulla by impulses from the hypothalamus via neurons from the thoracic spinal cord. The medulla is stimulated to secrete the amine hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine.

One of the major functions of the adrenal gland is to respond to stress. Stress can be either physical or psychological or both. Physical stresses include exposing the body to injury, walking outside in cold and wet conditions without a coat on, or malnutrition. Psychological stresses include the perception of a physical threat, a fight with a loved one, or just a bad day at school.

The body responds in different ways to short-term stress and long-term stress following a pattern known as the general adaptation syndrome (GAS). Stage one of GAS is called the alarm reaction. This is short-term stress, the fight-or-flight response, mediated by the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal medulla via the SAM pathway. Their function is to prepare the body for extreme physical exertion. Once this stress is relieved, the body quickly returns to normal. The section on the adrenal medulla covers this response in more detail.

If the stress is not soon relieved, the body adapts to the stress in the second stage called the stage of resistance. If a person is starving for example, the body may send signals to the gastrointestinal tract to maximize the absorption of nutrients from food.

If the stress continues for a longer term however, the body responds with symptoms quite different than the fight-or-flight response. During the stage of exhaustion, individuals may begin to suffer depression, the suppression of their immune response, severe fatigue, or even a fatal heart attack. These symptoms are mediated by the hormones of the adrenal cortex, especially cortisol, released as a result of signals from the HPA axis.

Adrenal hormones also have several non–stress-related functions, including the increase of blood sodium and glucose levels, which will be described in detail below.
The adrenal cortex consists of multiple layers of lipid-storing cells that occur in three structurally distinct regions. Each of these regions produces different hormones.

A. Hormones of the Zona Glomerulosa

The most superficial region of the adrenal cortex is the zona glomerulosa, which produces a group of hormones collectively referred to as mineralocorticoids because of their effect on body minerals, especially sodium and potassium. These hormones are essential for fluid and electrolyte balance.

Aldosterone is the major mineralocorticoid. It is important in the regulation of the concentration of sodium and potassium ions in urine, sweat, and saliva. For example, it is released in response to elevated blood K+, low blood Na+, low blood pressure, or low blood volume. In response, aldosterone increases the excretion of K+ and the retention of Na+, which in turn increases blood volume and blood pressure. Its secretion is prompted when CRH from the hypothalamus triggers ACTH release from the anterior pituitary.

Aldosterone is also a key component of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) in which specialized cells of the kidneys secrete the enzyme renin in response to low blood volume or low blood pressure. Renin then catalyzes the conversion of the blood protein angiotensinogen, produced by the liver, to the hormone angiotensin I. Angiotensin I is converted in the lungs to angiotensin II by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Angiotensin II has three major functions: Initiating vasoconstriction of the arterioles, decreasing blood flow Stimulating kidney tubules to reabsorb NaCl and water, increasing blood volume Signaling the adrenal cortex to secrete aldosterone, the effects of which further contribute to fluid retention, restoring blood pressure and blood volume For individuals with hypertension, or high blood pressure, drugs are available that block the production of angiotensin II. These drugs, known as ACE inhibitors, block the ACE enzyme from converting angiotensin I to angiotensin II, thus mitigating the latter’s ability to increase blood pressure.

B. Hormones of the Zona Fasciculata

The intermediate region of the adrenal cortex is the zona fasciculata, named as such because the cells form small fascicles (bundles) separated by tiny blood vessels. The cells of the zona fasciculata produce hormones called glucocorticoids because of their role in glucose metabolism. The most important of these is cortisol, some of which the liver converts to cortisone. A glucocorticoid produced in much smaller amounts is corticosterone. In response to long-term stressors, the hypothalamus secretes CRH, which in turn triggers the release of ACTH by the anterior pituitary. ACTH triggers the release of the glucocorticoids. Their overall effect is to inhibit tissue building while stimulating the breakdown of stored nutrients to maintain adequate fuel supplies. In conditions of long-term stress, for example, cortisol promotes the catabolism of glycogen to glucose, the catabolism of stored triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol, and the catabolism of muscle proteins into amino acids. These raw materials can then be used to synthesize additional glucose and ketones for use as body fuels. The hippocampus, which is part of the temporal lobe of the cerebral cortices and important in memory formation, is highly sensitive to stress levels because of its many glucocorticoid receptors.

You are probably familiar with prescription and over-the-counter medications containing glucocorticoids, such as cortisone injections into inflamed joints, prednisone tablets and steroid-based inhalers used to manage severe asthma, and hydrocortisone creams applied to relieve itchy rashes. These drugs reflect another role of cortisol—the downregulation of the immune system, which inhibits the inflammatory response.

C. Hormones of the Zona Reticularis

The deepest region of the adrenal cortex is the zona reticularis, which produces small amounts of a class of steroid sex hormones called androgens. During puberty and most of adulthood, androgens are produced in the gonads. The androgens produced in the zona reticularis supplement the gonadal androgens. They are produced in response to ACTH from the anterior pituitary and are converted in the tissues to testosterone or estrogens. In adult females, they may contribute to the sex drive, but their function in adult males is not well understood. In post-menopausal people, as the functions of the ovaries decline, the main source of estrogens becomes the androgens produced by the zona reticularis.
As noted earlier, the adrenal cortex releases glucocorticoids in response to long-term stress such as severe illness. In contrast, the adrenal medulla releases its hormones in response to acute, short-term stress mediated by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).

The medullary tissue is composed of unique postganglionic SNS neurons called chromaffin cells, which are large and irregularly shaped, and produce the neurotransmitters epinephrine (also called adrenaline) and norepinephrine (or noradrenaline). Epinephrine is produced in greater quantities—approximately a 4 to 1 ratio with norepinephrine—and is the more powerful hormone. Because the chromaffin cells release epinephrine and norepinephrine into the systemic circulation, where they travel widely and exert effects on distant cells, they are considered hormones. Derived from the amino acid tyrosine, they are chemically classified as catecholamines.

The secretion of medullary epinephrine and norepinephrine is controlled by a neural pathway that originates from the hypothalamus in response to danger or stress (the SAM pathway). Both epinephrine and norepinephrine signal the liver and skeletal muscle cells to convert glycogen into glucose, resulting in increased blood glucose levels. These hormones increase the heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure to prepare the body to fight the perceived threat or flee from it. In addition, the pathway dilates the airways, raising blood oxygen levels. It also prompts vasodilation, further increasing the oxygenation of important organs such as the lungs, brain, heart, and skeletal muscle. At the same time, it triggers vasoconstriction to blood vessels serving less essential organs such as the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and skin, and downregulates some components of the immune system. Other effects include a dry mouth, loss of appetite, pupil dilation, and a loss of peripheral vision. The major hormones of the adrenal glands are summarized in Table 1.
Several disorders are caused by the dysregulation of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. For example, Cushing’s disease is a disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels and the accumulation of lipid deposits on the face and neck. It is caused by hypersecretion of cortisol. The most common source of Cushing’s disease is a pituitary tumor that secretes cortisol or ACTH in abnormally high amounts. Other common signs of Cushing’s disease include the development of a moon-shaped face, a buffalo hump on the back of the neck, rapid weight gain, and hair loss. Chronically elevated glucose levels are also associated with an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition to hyperglycemia, chronically elevated glucocorticoids compromise immunity, resistance to infection, and memory, and can result in rapid weight gain and hair loss.

In contrast, the hyposecretion of corticosteroids can result in Addison’s disease, a rare disorder that causes low blood glucose levels and low blood sodium levels. The signs and symptoms of Addison’s disease are vague and are typical of other disorders as well, making diagnosis difficult. They may include general weakness, abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and cravings for salty food.

OpenStax. (2022). Anatomy and Physiology 2e. Rice University. Retrieved June 15, 2023. ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-06-7 (Hardcover) ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-05-0 (Paperback) ISBN-13: 978-1-951693-42-8 (Digital). License: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Access for free at

Both adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys and are composed of an outer cortex and an inner medulla, all surrounded by a connective tissue capsule. The cortex can be subdivided into additional zones, all of which produce different types of hormones. LM × 204. (Micrograph provided by the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)

Adrenal glandAssociated hormonesChemical classEffect
Adrenal cortexAldosteroneSteroidIncreases blood Na+ levels
Adrenal cortexCortisol, corticosterone, cortisoneSteroidIncrease blood glucose levels
Adrenal medullaEpinephrine, norepinephrineAmineStimulate fight-or-flight response

Nội dung này đang được cập nhật.
Dưới đây là video và các luyện tập (practice) của bài này. Nghe là một kĩ năng khó, đặc biệt là khi chúng ta chưa quen nội dung và chưa có nhạy cảm ngôn ngữ. Nhưng cứ đi thật chậm và đừng bỏ cuộc.
Xem video và cảm nhận nội dung bài. Bạn có thể thả trôi, cảm nhận dòng chảy ngôn ngữ và không nhất thiết phải hiểu toàn bộ bài. Bên dưới là script để bạn khái quát nội dụng và tra từ mới.
  1. The adrenal glands, located superior to each kidney, consist of two regions: the adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla.
  2. The adrenal cortex—the outer layer of the gland—produces mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, and androgens.
  3. The adrenal medulla at the core of the gland produces epinephrine and norepinephrine.
  4. The adrenal glands mediate a short-term stress response and a long-term stress response.
  5. A perceived threat results in the secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal medulla, which mediate the fight-or-flight response.
  6. The long-term stress response is mediated by the secretion of CRH from the hypothalamus, which triggers ACTH, which in turn stimulates the secretion of corticosteroids from the adrenal cortex.
  7. The mineralocorticoids, chiefly aldosterone, cause sodium and fluid retention, which increases blood volume and blood pressure.
Bật video, nghe và điền từ vào chỗ trống.
Dưới đây là phần bàn luận. Bạn có thể tự do đặt câu hỏi, bổ sung kiến thức, và chia sẻ trải nghiệm của mình.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Ấn vào ô bên dưới để đánh dấu bạn đã hoàn thành bài học này

Quá dữ! Tiếp tục duy trì phong độ nhé!