II. Physiology

  1. ACTH is a polypeptide synthesized and secreted by Basophil cells in the anterior pituitary
    1. Stimulation (releasing factors)
      1. Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH, from Hypothalamus)
      2. Emotional or physical stress
        1. Sympathetic response to stress triggers hypothalamic release of CRH
    2. Inhibition by negative feedback loops
      1. Cortisol inhibits CRH release from Hypothalamus
      2. Cortisol inhibits ACTH release from pituitary
  2. Components
    1. Polypetide of 39 Amino Acids, encoded by the POMC gene in humans
  3. ACTH Effects (Adrenal Cortex stimulation)
    1. Cortisol release (Glucocorticoid, primary function)
    2. Other, less potent effects
      1. Aldosterone release (mineralcorticoid)
      2. Androgenic steroid release

III. Pathophysiology

  1. Cushing Disease
  2. Addison Disease

IV. References

  1. Goldberg (2014) Clinical Physiology, Medmaster, Miami, p. 132-46

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