Cortisol: “The Stress Hormone”

news June 10 2019

Cortisol, C21H30O5, (hydrocortisone, compound F) is the primary glucocorticoid produced and secreted by the adrenal cortex. Often referred to as the “stress hormone”, cortisol is released in response to stress and regulates systems controlling blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and a spectrum of immunological mechanisms of stress adaptation.

Cortisol is an important anti-inflammatory molecule that helps regulate hypersensitivity, immunosuppression, and disease resistance. In metabolism, cortisol promotes gluconeogenesis, liver glycogen deposition, and reduction of glucose utilization. Adrenal cortisol production is regulated by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which is synthesized by the pituitary gland in response to hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone. Basal production of cortisol follows an ACTH-dependent circadian rhythm, with a peak level in the morning and decreasing levels throughout the day. Most (>95%) circulating cortisol is bound to steroid binding proteins, and only free cortisol is available for receptor binding and modulation of physiological processes. A key function of circulating cortisol is blood pressure regulation. Increased cortisol secretion can result in hypertension, a common feature of Cushing’s syndrome, while inadequate corticosteroid production causes the life-threatening hypotension characteristic of Addison’s disease. Cortisol can also exert negative effects on the cardiovascular system at the autocrine level in response to abnormal cortisol metabolism. Dysregulated cortisol levels are linked to a variety of different conditions, such as prostate cancer, depression, and schizophrenia.

Measurement of cortisol from a variety of sample types is easily obtained using a highly sensitive immunoassay from Arbor Assays (K003-H1/H5/H1W/H5W). Cortisol can be detected in most bodily fluids and accurate measurements obtained from as little as 1 µL sample volumes.

  • Validated in Saliva, Serum, Plasma, Urine, Tissue, Fecal Extracts, Hair, Baleen, Blubber, Nails, & Respiratory Vapor
  • Sample to Result in < 2 Hours
  • Stable Reagents, Reproducible Results
  • Human, Fish, Primates, Ruminants, Marsupials, Aquatic Mammals