Meaning Behind the Word: Corticotropin

Corticotropin, also known as ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), is a crucial element in the endocrine system.


The term Corticotropin (Adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH) refers to a 39-amino-acid peptide hormone produced by cells of the anterior pituitary gland and carried by the peripheral circulation to its effector organ, the adrenal cortex, where it stimulates the synthesis and secretion of glucocorticoids and, to a more modest extent, mineralocorticoids and adrenal androgens.

Biological Significance

Corticotropin is secreted in response to corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) from the hypothalamus. The actions of CRH on ACTH release are augmented by another hypothalamic hormone, arginine vasopressin (AVP), and are also modulated by several other stimulatory and inhibitory factors, including acetylcholine, catecholamines, and immune factors.


The primary functions of Corticotropin include:

  • Stimulating the adrenal cortex to produce cortisol.
  • Regulating the body's response to stress.
  • Modulating immune responses.

Medical Implications

In the medical field, abnormalities in Corticotropin levels can indicate issues with the endocrine system, leading to conditions such as Addison's disease or Cushing's syndrome.

Research and Development

Scientists continue to explore the Corticotropin hormone for its potential in developing treatments for various health conditions related to hormonal imbalances.


Corticotropin is a significant term in the realm of endocrinology, influencing the body's response to stress and maintaining crucial physiological balance.

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