Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Any of several steroid hormones (corticosteroids), e.g. cortisone, secreted by the adrenal cortex and that exert a primary influence on carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism, especially in the liver and muscles. Glucocorticoids also affect muscle tone and the microcirculation, participate in the maintenance of arterial blood pressure, increase gastric secretion, alter connective tissue response to injury, impede cartilage production, inhibit inflammatory, allergic, and immunologic responses, invoke shrinkage of lymphatic tissue, reduce the number of circulating lymphocytes, and affect the function of the central nervous system. Aka glucocorticosteroids.

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