Toxicology o f the Adrenal Cortex: Role o f Metabolic Activation
The adrenal cortex is a complex endocrine gland having a variety of physiolog ic functions. Several types of steroid hormones are secreted by the gland, and con trol of hormone secretion involves a number of regulatory systems. Perhaps in part because of its complexity, the adrenal cortex is adversely affected by a large number of toxicants. Based on an extensive review of the literature some years ago, Ribelin (92) concluded that chemically induced lesions occurred with greater frequency in the adrenal cortex than in any other endocrine organ. Some of the reasons for this vulnerability of the gland to toxicants will be discussed later.