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Noradrenergic innervation of the human adrenal cortex was investigated using immunohistochemistry directed at dopamine-beta-hydroxylase. Nerves were present as slender trunks and individual varicose fibres in the capsule and all cortical zones except the inner zona reticularis. Some fibres were located adjacent to blood vessels and in the muscular tunics of arterioles; others were apparently adjacent to parenchymal cells. These results in the human confirm and extend previous animal studies and suggest a possible anatomical substrate for regulation of adrenal blood flow, and also for the direct action of noradrenaline on zona fasciculata cells to stimulate glucocorticoid secretion via beta-1-adrenoceptors.


Journal article


J Anat

Publication Date



180 ( Pt 3)


501 - 506


Adrenal Cortex, Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Receptors, Adrenergic