Adrenal cortex

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The Adrenal cortex is located on the kidney, and produces hormones.

It is the outer portion of adrenal gland that produces steroid hormones[1].

The adrenal cortex secretes 4 main hormones, these include cortisol, aldosterone, and 2 weak androgens androstenedione and dehydroepiandrostenedione (DHEA). Cortisol is an important metabolic hormone, aldosterone is a hormone involved in salt and water homeostasis, and the androgens are regarded as having little physiological significance when gonadal function is normal. Due to multiple secretions, the adrenal cortex isn't a single endocrine gland[2].


  1. Silverthorn, D. (2013) Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach, 6th ed., Boston, Pearson Education pp.386-87
  2. Nussey S, Whitehead S. Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach. Oxford: BIOS Scientific Publishers; 2001. Chapter 4, The adrenal gland. Available from:
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