ACTH/Cortisol (glycogenolysis, protein catabolism, lipolysis and gluconeogenesis)

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• A decline in blood glucose concentration stimulates corticotropic cells in the anterior pituitary to produce adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). • ACTH binds with cells in the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex. • Increased ACTH promotes the production of cortisol, the major glucocorticoid in the adrenal cortex. • Cortisol targets liver cells and causes them to undergo glycogenolysis. • Liver cells undergo glycogenolysis, breaking down glycogen into glucose. • Glucose is also formed from non-carbohydrate sources - a process called gluconeogenesis. • Release of glucose into the blood restores blood glucose concentration levels. • A decline in blood glucose concentration stimulates corticotropic cells in the anterior pituitary to 3 produce adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). • ACTH binds with cells in the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex. • Cortisol causes muscle cells to break down protein and liberate amino acids into the blood stream. • The amino acids are used by the liver to produce more glucose (gluconeogenesis). • The new glucose is released into the blood and blood glucose concentration is restored to normal levels. • A decline in blood glucose concentration stimulates corticotropic cells in the anterior pituitary to produce adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). • ACTH binds with cells in the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex. • Increased ACTH promotes the production of cortisol, the major glucocorticoid in the adrenal cortex. • Cortisol causes adipose cells to break down lipids (lipolysis) thereby liberating fatty acids into the blood stream. The fatty acids are used by the liver to produce more glucose (gluconeogenesis). Fatty acids are also used by other cells for fuel, thereby sparing glucose. • The new glucose is released into the blood and blood glucose concentration is restored to normal levels. • ACTH promotes production of cortisol. • Cortisol causes liver cells Ito undergo gluconeogenesis. • Cortisol causes muscle cells to break down proteins to amino acids. • Cortisol causes adipose cells to undergo lipolysis. • The total response of the actions of cortisol is to increase blood glucose levels.

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