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adrenal gland

Capsule \Cap"sule\ (k[a^]p"s[=u]l), n. [L. capsula a little box or chest, fr. capsa chest, case, fr. capere to take, contain: cf. F. capsule.]

  1. (Bot.) a dry fruit or pod which is made up of several parts or carpels, and opens to discharge the seeds, as, the capsule of the poppy, the flax, the lily, etc.

  2. (Chem.)

    1. A small saucer of clay for roasting or melting samples of ores, etc.; a scorifier.

    2. a small, shallow, evaporating dish, usually of porcelain.

  3. (Med.) A small cylindrical or spherical gelatinous envelope in which nauseous or acrid doses are inclosed to be swallowed.

  4. (Anat.) A membranous sac containing fluid, or investing an organ or joint; as, the capsule of the lens of the eye. Also, a capsulelike organ.

  5. A metallic seal or cover for closing a bottle.

  6. A small cup or shell, as of metal, for a percussion cap, cartridge, etc.

    Atrabiliary capsule. See under Atrabiliary.

    Glisson's capsule, a membranous envelope, entering the liver along with the portal vessels and insheathing the latter in their course through the organ.

    Suprarenal capsule, a ductless gland secreting epinephrine, norepinephrine, and steroid hormones, on the upper end of each kidney. It is also called the adrenal gland, glandula suprarenalis, suprarenal gland, epinephros, atrabiliary capsule, and adrenal capsule. [1913 Webster +PJC] ||

adrenal gland

n. (context anatomy English) In mammals, either of a pair of complex endocrine glands, situated above each kidney, secreting hormones which control the heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolism.

adrenal gland

n. either of a pair of complex endocrine glands situated near the kidney [syn: adrenal, suprarenal gland]

Adrenal gland

The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are endocrine glands that produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline and the steroids aldosterone and cortisol. They are found above the kidneys. Each gland has an outer cortex which produces steroid hormones and an inner medulla. The adrenal cortex itself is divided into three zones: zona glomerulosa, the zona fasciculata and the zona reticularis.

The adrenal cortex produces three main types of steroid hormones: mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, and androgens. Mineralocorticoids (such as aldosterone) produced in the zona glomerulosa help in the regulation of blood pressure and electrolyte balance. The glucocorticoids cortisol and corticosterone are synthesized in the zona fasciculata; their functions include the regulation of metabolism and immune system suppression. The innermost layer of the cortex, the zona reticularis, produces androgens that are converted to fully functional sex hormones in the gonads and other target organs. The production of steroid hormones is called steroidogenesis, and involves a number of reactions and processes that take place in cortical cells. The medulla produces the catecholamines adrenaline and noradrenaline, which function to produce a rapid response throughout the body in stress situations.

A number of endocrine diseases involve dysfunctions of the adrenal gland. Overproduction of cortisol leads to Cushing's syndrome, whereas insufficient production is associated with Addison's disease. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a genetic disease produced by dysregulation of endocrine control mechanisms. A variety of tumors can arise from adrenal tissue and are commonly found in medical imaging when searching for other diseases.

Usage examples of "adrenal gland".

It turned out that her own adrenal gland equivalentwhat the Andorians called their parafra was being hypercharged in a similar way to what this virus did to humans.

The Envoy systems, fooling every adrenal gland in my body and plastering me with a layer of cool detachment.

Whether it was a sports day or an expose, Beth's adrenal gland beat out a tune that she was forced to acknowledge.

The psychological spur would stimulate his adrenal gland just that much more.

What Dylan had not been prepared for, what caused his adrenal gland to squirt another dose of epinephrine into his bloodstream, what caused his guts to tweak in a less than pleasant fashion was the doorway in the wall beside the sink, where earlier no door had been.