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Zona glomerulosa

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The zona glomerulosa is the narrow outer layer of the suprarenal cortex.

The cortex of the suprarenal gland is divided into three zones: the zona glomerulosa, zona fasciculata and zona reticularis. These zones are found superficial to the medulla of the suprarenal gland.

The zona glomerulosa has small cells arranged in tightly packed ovoid clusters and curved columns, which are continuous with the cellular cords of the zona fasciculata. These cells have a well-developed golgi apparatus and smooth endoplasmic reticulum. Around each cell cluster is a network of fenestrated sinusoidal capillaries.

The function of the zona glomerulosa is to secrete mineralocorticoids. The principal mineralocorticoid that is released by the cells of the zona glomerulosa is aldosterone. Aldosterone acts on various sites to increase the resorption of sodium. These sites include the distal tubules of the nephron, gastric mucosa, as well as the salivary and sweat glands.

The zona glomerulosa is under the feedback mechanism of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This means it plays a role in maintaining blood pressure, blood volume and electrolyte homeostasis.  

Terminology Latin: zona glomerularis 
Location  Outer layer of the suprarenal cortex
Function Secretes aldosterone  

Learn more about the zona glomerulosa in this study unit and article: 

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