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August 1958


Author Affiliations

San Francisco

From the Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. Fellow of the Bank of America-Giannini Foundation (Dr. Lieberman).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(2):314-330. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260200142012

Four hormones originating in the human adrenal cortex account for almost all of its recognized biological effects. Some 10 to 20 mg. of hydrocortisone, secreted daily in normal man, affects organic metabolism and numerous related "glucocorticoid" functions; 0.2 to 0.4 mg. of aldosterone, released under ordinary conditions, affects predominantly the balance of sodium and potassium. Small amounts of corticosterone and of 11-oxygenated 17-ketosteroids are also secreted by the adrenal. All of these substances have been recovered from adrenal cortical extracts, from media in which adrenal tissue or homogenates have been incubated, and from adrenal vein blood. Other substances with interesting biological properties doubtless originate in the adrenal cortex under abnormal conditions. Although a number of natural or synthetic steroids have appreciable mineralocorticoid activity, bioassays of adrenal incubates, extracts, adrenal effluent blood, or urine indicate that aldosterone accounts for the largest part of the sodium-retaining and potassium-excret- ing activity present in

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