Definition: The principal glucocorticoid produced by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex. It promotes gluconeogenesis and lipolysis, suppresses protein synthesis, inhibits inflammatory and immune responses, and has mild mineralocorticoid (hypernatremic, kaliureteric, antidiuretic) effects. Most plasma cortisol is bound to transcortin and albumin. Synthetic cortisol administered as a drug is usually known by the alternative name hydrocortisone.
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