PHY2032 Study Guide - Final Guide: Pancreatic Islets, Sympathetic Nervous System, Adipose Tissue

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The secretion from the adrenal cortex of the glucocorticoid hormone cortisol increased. Activity of the sympathetic nervous system, including release of the hormone epinephrine from the adrenal medulla, also increases due to stress. The increased cortisol secretion during stress is mediated by the hypothalamo-anterior pituitary gland system. Neural input to the hypothalamus from portions of the nervous system responding to a particular stress induces secretion of crh. This hormone is carried by the hypothalamo-pituitary portal vessels to the anterior pituitary gland, where it stimulates acth secretion. Acth in turn circulates through the blood, reaches the adrenal cortex, and stimulates cortex release. The secretion of acth, and therefore of cortisol, is stimulated by several hormones in addition to hypothalamic crh. These include vasopressin, which usually increases in response to stress. Some of the cytokines also stimulate acth secretion both directly and by stimulating the secretion of crh.

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