The release of hormones from the adrenal glands
During stress, the hypothalamus can control the release of hormones from the adrenal glands via two major pathways. Describe the two pathways and the effects of the hormones they control.
Physiologic Response to Stress
Perceived stress leads to stimulation of the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus controls the release of stress hormones including cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine from the adrenal glands via two pathways. The first is via sympathetic nervous pathway, which stimulates release of noraprenephrine and epinephrine from the adrenal medulla. The second pathway is via stimulation of the anterior pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) (Wade & Tavris, 2017). ACTH is transported by blood to the adrenal glands, where it acts on the adrenal cortex to secrete cortisol. The effects of epinephrine include bronchodilation, increased lipolysis, heart rate, glycogenolysis, blood glucose, and cardiac output. Increased blood levels of norepinephrine results in increased blood pressure, dilatation of the pupil, and increased sweating. Similarly, release of cortisol from adrenal cortex results in different effects on the body. One of the effects is increased cardiac output as well as increased blood pressure (Wade & Tavris, 2017). Cortisol is also known to have an effect in increasing the levels of amino acids in circulation as well as increased level of lipolysis. Cortisol may also cause atrophy of the lymphoid tissue, which may lead to enhancement of the humoral immunity or immunosuppression as well as secretion of proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory mediators. This response is also known as stress response. It prepares the body in emergency situations to flee from a given threat or to fight (Wade & Tavris, 2017).
Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2017). Psychology (12th ed.). Pearson.