Role of the Adrenal Glands
Human Biology (Year 12) - Maintaining Glucose Balance
How do the adrenal glands influence blood glucose levels?
The adrenal glands are located above the kidney, and there are two main parts. These include:
The adrenal cortex, which secretes a group of hormones termed glucocorticoids (cortisol)
The adrenal medulla, which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline
Both of these have a role in raising blood glucose levels. The adrenal glands are normally stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system, meaning it is a stress-related response.
Glucocorticoids stimulate the conversion of glycogen to glucose (glycogenolysis), as well as stimulating the breakdown of protein in muscle and then converting amino acids to glucose in the liver (gluconeogenesis)
Adrenaline and noradrenaline stimulate the production of lactic acid from glycogen in muscle cells and then convert lactic acids into glucose in the liver