Cortisol, a steroid hormone, is the main glucocorticoid secreted by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex . It's primary function is to increase blood sugar levels. This rise is achieved through various processes including gluconeogenesis and metabolism of several macromolecules including fat, protein and carbohydrate.
In a response to stress, the glucocorticoid is released from thezona fasciculata domain of the adrenal cortex. This release is ultimately controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain, which secretes corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). This hormone then triggers the secretion of another hormone, ACTH, from the pituitary gland which is carried, via the bloodstream, to the adrenal cortex.
- ↑ Silverthorn, Dee Unglaub., Johnson, Bruce R., Ober, William C., Garrison, Claire W., Silverthorn, Andrew C.(2009)Human Physiology: An integrated approach, 5th edition, New York: Pearson International. p759