Figure 603

The role of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in the regulation of adrenocortical hormone synthesis and release. The major physiological stimulus for the synthesis and release of glucocorticoids is corticotropin (ACTH) secreted from the anterior pituitary gland. ACTH secretion is regulated by corti-cotropin-releasing factor (CRF) from the paraventricular region of the hypothalamus. The release of CRF in turn is controlled by glucocorticoid levels and by input from the hippocampus. Both endogenous and exogenous glucocorticoids feed back negatively to regulate the secretion of ACTH and CRF. Glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors (GR and MR) in the hippocampus also negatively modulate CRF synthesis and release.

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