Updated: 2/5/2018

Cortisol

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Overview
  • Synthesis 
    • secreted by adrenal zona fasiculata in response to ACTH stimulation
    • CRH is released from the hypothalamus to stimulate ACTH release from the pituitary
    • transported in plasma bound to corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG)
  • Function
    • maintains blood pressure in response to stress
      • is permissive for catecholamines by upregulating α1 receptors on arterioles
    • ↓ bone formation
    • immune function by inhibiting:
      • leukotriene and prostaglandin synthesis
      • leukocyte adhesion
      • histamine release
      • eosinophil production
      • IL-2 production
    • ↑ insulin resistence (diabetogenic)
    • ↑ gluconeogenesis, lipolysis, and proteolysis
      • these are the side effects of chronic corticosteroid use (Cushing's syndrome )
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