The adrenal cortex produces three major classes of steroids:
(2) mineralocorticoids, and
(3) adrenal androgens.
Consequently, normal adrenal function is important for
-modulating intermediary metabolism and immune responses through glucocorticoids;
blood pressure, vascular volume, and electrolytes through mineralocorticoids;
secondary sexual characteristics (in females) through androgens.
The adrenal axis plays an important role in the stress response by rapidly increasing cortisol levels.
Adrenal disorders include hyperfunction (Cushing's syndrome) and hypofunction (adrenal insufficiency) as well as a variety of genetic abnormalities of steroidogenesis.
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