Stress hormones: their interaction and regulation

J Axelrod, T D Reisine


Stress stimulates several adaptive hormonal responses. Prominent among these responses are the secretion of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla, corticosteroids from the adrenal cortex, and adrenocorticotropin from the anterior pituitary. A number of complex interactions are involved in the regulation of these hormones. Glucocorticoids regulate catecholamine biosynthesis in the adrenal medulla and catecholamines stimulate adrenocorticotropin release from the anterior pituitary. In addition, other hormones, including corticotropin-releasing factor, vasoactive intestinal peptide, and arginine vasopressin stimulate while the corticosteroids and somatostatin inhibit adrenocorticotropin secretion. Together these agents appear to determine the complex physiologic responses to a variety of stressors.


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