Adrenal cortex cell

Adrenal cortex cell

Synthesis of cortisol is the main function of the adrenal cortex cell in the zona fasciculata. LDL particles containing cholesterol are endocytosed. Then, cholesterol is transferred to the mitochondrion, where it is converted into pregnenolone.

Pregnenolone is taken to the endoplasmic reticulum and converted, step-by-step to deoxycortisol. The latter is converted to cortisol, again in the mitochondrion. Finally, cortisol is secreted from the cortex cell. ACTH regulates the process of cortisol production.


I. Cortisol is deactivated in the kidney by conversion into cortisone.

II. Patients with an LDL-receptor mutation (familial hypercholesterolemia) have alterations in cortisol production.