adrenal cortex: the outer three layers of the adrenal gland, as contrasted with the innermost part, the medulla. The cortex produces steroidal hormones, among them the glucocorticoid cortisol, and nonpotent sex hormones. See also adrenal gland; cortex.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

This is the outer portion of the adrenal gland; it secretes hormones such as hydrocortisone (a glucocortoid) and aldosterone (a mineralocorticoid).

Glucocortoids help cells synthesize glucose, catabolize proteins, mobilize free fatty acids, and inhibit inflammation in allergic responses. Mineralocortoids regulate the levels of minerals such as sodium and potassium in the blood.

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