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|Medulla labeled at bottom right.|
|Gray's||subject #277 1280|
Composed mainly of hormone-producing chromaffin cells, the adrenal medulla is the principal site of the conversion of the amino acid tyrosine into the catecholamines adrenaline (epinephrine), noradrenaline (norepinephrine), and dopamine.
Notable effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline include increased heart rate and blood pressure, blood vessel constriction, bronchiole dilation, and increased metabolism, all of which are characteristic of the fight-or-flight response. Release of catecholamines is stimulated by nerve impulses, and receptors for catecholamines are widely distributed throughout the body.
Moreover, as the synapses between pre- and postganglionic fibers are called ganglia, the adrenal medulla is actually a ganglion of the sympathetic nervous system.
- Pheochromocytoma (most common) a catecholamine-secreting tumor of the adrenal medulla
- Neuroblastoma a neuroendocrine tumor of any neural crest tissue of the sympathetic nervous system
- Ganglioneuroma a tumor in the nerve cells of the peripheral nervous system
- SUNY Labs 40:04-0202 - "Posterior Abdominal Wall: Blood Supply to the Suprarenal Glands"
- Anatomy Atlases - Microscopic Anatomy, plate 15.292 - "Adrenal Gland"