Cortex

^ Features of steroid-secreting cells

• Abundant smooth endoplasmic reticulum

• Mitochondria with tubular cristae in the zona fasciculata and the zona reticularis; shelf-like cristae in the zona glomerulosa

• Numerous lipid droplets filled with cholesterol, precursor for steroid hormones

• Secretion is by diffusion, with no hormone storage. ^ Zona glomerulosa

• Located immediately beneath the capsule

• Cells arranged in round clusters

• Secretes mineralocorticoids, e.g., aldosterone ^ Zona fasciculata

• Middle layer, largest cortical zone

• Cells arranged in rows perpendicular to the capsule with alternating wide-diameter, fenestrated capillaries

• Secretes glucocorticoids and androgens ^ Zona reticularis

• Occupies deepest layer of the cortex

• Cells arranged as anastomosing cords

• Same secretions as zona fasciculata, glucocorticoids and androgens

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