Introduction to Hormones/Pituitary Function/Adrenal Function – Objectives
production strongly suggests adrenal hyperandrogenism, whereas elevated testosterone
values are seen w. either adrenal or gonadal hyperandrogenism
diagnosing hypogonadism; hypergonadotropic hypogonadism –
characterized by low testosterone and elevated FSH or LH i.e. in Kleinfelter’s syndrome,
Primary Testicular Failure, Infection (mumps orchitis), Irradiation, Trauma;
hypogonadotropic hypogonadism – low testosterone w/ low or inappropriately normal
FSH or LH levels i.e. in Pituitary Disease, Hypothalamic dysfunction, hypopituitarism,
Kallmann’s Syndrome, severe obesity, malnutrition, etc.;
Name and diagram the three zones of the adrenal cortex and hormones and
their primary function produced in each.
The major cortex hormones, aldosterone, cortisol, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate
(DHEAS), are uniquely synthesized from a common precursor by cells located in 1 of 3
functionally distinct zonal layers of the adrenal cortex.
These zonal layers are zona
glomerulosa, zona fasiculata, and zona reticularis, respectively.
– zona glomerulosa cells (outer 10%) synthesize mineralocorticoids (aldosterone)
critical for sodium retention (volume), potassium, and acid –bas homeostasis
– zona fasiculata cells (middle 75%) synthesize glucocorticoids, such as cortisol,
and corticocortisone critical for blood glucose homeostasis and blood pressure; it also
generates androgen precursors such as DHEA
– zona reticularis cells (inner 10%) sulfate DHEA to DHEAS which is the main
Name the hormone that is primarily affected in Addison’s disease and how it
Also, give a brief definition of Addison’s disease.
Addison’s disease is adrenal insufficiency or low cortisol levels; it results from a primary
adrenal problem (destruction of 90% of the adrenal cortex) or is secondary to ACTH
deficiency; Autoimmune adrenalitis accounts for 70% of the cases of primary adrenal
insufficiency; however, other conditions, including fungal diseases, HIV, and TB can
also destroy the adrenal gland; glucocorticoid therapy is the most common cause of