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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 15 - Endocrine Glands

Plate 15.292 Adrenal Gland

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 15.292 Adrenal Gland

Rhesus monkey, Helly's fluid, H. & E., 50 x.


Capsule: A tough fibroelastic covering of the adrenal gland.

Cortex: Three concentric zones, each with a different cell arrangement, are shown. The adrenal cortex is essential to life. It controls the electrolyte and water distribution in the body and maintains proper carbohydrate balance.

Zona glomerulosa: Outermost narrow zone of the adrenal cortex. Deeply staining, densely packed nuclei. Elaborates aldosterone.

Zona fasciculata: The broadest zone of the adrenal cortex. Cells are arranged in long cords. Elaborates cortisol.

Zona reticularis: Innermost layer of adrenal cortex. Cells are arranged in irregular cords separated by sinusoids (clear spaces) giving the appearance of a meshwork. Stains deeper than zona fasciculata.

Medulla: Irregularly arranged mass of cells in cords. Highly vascularized. Rich in chrornaffin substance. Produces epinephrine and norepinephrine.  

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