The adrenal cortex secretes three basic groups of hormones: Mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids and sex steroid hormones (androgens and estrogens). Mineralocorticoids include aldosterone and deoxycorticosterone. Their mechanism of action is mainly connected with maintenance of salt balance.

Glucocorticoids infl uence metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and also on host protective mechanisms.

The most important members of Glucocorticoids are cortisol and corticosterone. The sex steroids such as dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), D4-androstendione, dehydroepiandrosterone and some estrogens have ancillary role.

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