File:Adrenal histology 002.jpg

From Embryology

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Adrenal Cortex

Adrenal gland, monkey - (Stain - Haematoxylin Eosin) Adrenal Development

Divided into three zones (Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) required for zones 2 and 3)

  1. zona glomerulosa (about 15%)
  2. zona fasciculata (about 75%)
  3. zone reticularis is (about 10%)

Note the adrenal zona reticularis is a layer that forms postnatally in the cortex.

Zona Glomerulosa

  • secretes mineralocorticoids.
  • Small cells arranged into small rounded groups or curved columns.
  • not influenced by ACTH.

Zona Fasciculata

  • secretes glucocorticoids.
  • cell cords arranged radially arranged cell cords separated by fenestrated sinusoid capillaries.
  • cell nucleus is light and centrally located.
  • cell cytoplasm is also light and often "foamy" or "spongy" appearance (due to lipid droplets)

Zona Reticularis

  • secretes adrenal androgens.
  • cell chords separated by sinusoid spaces.
  • small cells with large nucleus, and eosinophilic cytoplasm and less spongy. (lipofucsin accumulates with age, orange colour in H&E).
Adrenal Histology: Cortex and Medulla | Unlabelled Overview | Cortical Zones | Zona Glomerulosa and Fasciculata | Zona Glomerulosa | Zona Fasciculata | Zona Reticularis and Medulla | Zona Reticularis | Medulla | Fetal Cortex | Developing Adult Cortex | BGD - Endocrine Histology | Histology Stains | Adrenal Development

Links: Histology | Histology Stains | Blue Histology images copyright Lutz Slomianka 1998-2009. The literary and artistic works on the original Blue Histology website may be reproduced, adapted, published and distributed for non-commercial purposes. See also the page Histology Stains.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 20) Embryology Adrenal histology 002.jpg. Retrieved from

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G

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