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Details for messenger / hormone: cortisol

EndoNet ID: ENH00019

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  • cortisol
  • 11beta,17alpha,21-Trihydroxy-4-pregnene-3,20-dione
  • hydrocortisone
  • 11beta,17,21-trihydroxy-4-pregnene-3,20-dione
  • Hydrocortisone

General information

  • The synthesis of IGFs in osteoblasts is down-regulated by many locally produced growth factors, particularly transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) and cortisol, and this probably accounts for the osteoporotic effects of this steroid, whereas PTH is stimulatory. [1]
  • Cortisol has aldosterone-like affects in the kidney. [2]
  • The circadian variation in serum cortisol is responsible for the circadian pattern of serum osteocalcin. [3]
  • Glucocorticoids increase bone resorption, inhibit bone formation and have an indirect action on bone by decreasing intestinal Ca(2+) absorption, but also inducing a sustained renal Ca(2+) excretion. [4]
  • The CYP 2C8 and 2C9 promoters contain a glucocorticoid-responsive element that is recognized and transactivated by glucocorticoid receptor. Identification of this functional element provides a rational mechanistic basis for the induction of CYP 2C protein and an increase in EDHF-mediated responses in porcine coronary arteries by cortisol. [5]


Hormone function

  • CNS function
    • stress response

    Chemical classification

    • hormone
      • not genome-encoded
        • sterol lipids
          • steroids
            • glucocorticoids


      KEGG C00735

      Links to other resources

      KEGG C00735
      LIPID MAPS LMST02030001
      LipidBank SST0244
      • Anatomical structure: adrenal_cortex

        Influenced by:

        • VPAC1
          in adrenal_cortex
          • Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) was shown in a dose-dependent manner to increase cortisol secretion in human adrenocortical carcinoma, coupled with a parallel increase in cAMP accumulation. Treatment with the VPAC1 receptor agonist, produced a dose-dependent increase in cortisol secretion similar to that seen with VIP. [6]
          • VIP directly stimulates cortisol secretion via activation of the VPAC1 receptor subtype. [6]
        • BMP receptor type II
          in adrenal_cortex
          • In contrast to BMP-6, it could be recently demonstrated that both BMP-2 and BMP-5 are able to overall suppress forskolin-induced steroidogenesis in NCIh295R cells. [7]
          • Specifically, secretion of cortisol, was reduced by BMP-2 and BMP-5 in a dose-dependent manner. [7]
      • Anatomical structure: cell_of_adrenal_gland_zona_fasciculata

        Influenced by:

        • ACTH receptor
          in cell_of_adrenal_gland_zona_fasciculata
        • IL-6R
          in cell_of_adrenal_gland_zona_fasciculata
        • 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 4
          in cell_of_adrenal_gland_zona_fasciculata
          • Serotonin-induced stimulation of cortisol secretion from human adrenocortical tissue is mediated through activation of a serotonin4 receptor subtype. [8]
      • Anatomical structure: hair_follicle

        Influenced by:

        • CRF-R1
          in hair_follicle
          • Isolated human hair follicles secrete substantial levels of cortisol and this activity is further up-regulated by CRH. [9]


      Cellglucocorticoid receptormineralcorticoid receptor
      brain Present
      cardiac myocyte Present
      cerebellum Present
      colon Present
      eosinophil granulocyte Present
      epidermis Present
      epithelial cell Present
      • multicellular organismal water homeostasis
      heart Present
      hepatocyte Present
      • IGF-1
      • CBG
      hippocampus Present
      hypothalamus Present
      • CRH
      • orexin-A
      • CRH
      kidney Present
      • Hypoaldosteronism
      • Primary Hyperaldosteronism
      lung Present
      macrophage Present
      • hypertension
      • abdominal obesity-metabolic syndrome
      • negative regulation of immune response
      • osteoporosis
      • atherosclerosis
      • positive regulation of immune response
      • fibrosis
      • production of molecular mediator involved in inflammatory
      • atherosclerosis
      • hypertension
      major salivary glands Present
      microglial cell in central nervous system Present
      • negative regulation of immune response
      • positive regulation of immune response
      nasal mucosa Present
      neutrophil granulocyte Present
      peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) Present
      pituitary gland of diencephalon Present
      skeleton muscle Present
      spleen Present
      thymus Present