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n. A stage of maturation of the cortex of the human adrenal glands, related to puberty, typically occurring between the ages of six and ten years and involving both structural and functional changes.


n. the increase in activity of the adrenal glands just before puberty


Adrenarche is an early sexual maturation stage in some higher primates that in humans typically occurs at around 10 to 11 years of age. During adrenarche the adrenal cortex secretes increased levels of androgens such as DHEA and DHEAS, but without increased cortisol levels. Adrenarche is the result of the development of a new zone of the adrenal cortex, the zona reticularis. Adrenarche is a process related to puberty, but distinct from hypothalamic- pituitary- gonadal maturation and function.