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Zona reticularis

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The zona reticularis is the inner layer of the suprarenal cortex.
The cortex of the suprarenal gland is divided into three morphological zones: the narrow outer zona glomerulosa, the thick middle zone called the zona fasciculata and the zona reticularis. This inner zone only constitutes about 5% of the cortical mass. 

The cells of the zona reticularis are much smaller than those of the zona fasicluata and have more deeply stained nuclei. They are arranged in anastomosing cords and separated by fenestrated capillaries. The cells are much smaller in this layer because they have less cytoplasm, which also makes their nuclei appear more closely packed.  The cells have a well-developed smooth endoplasmic reticulum and several elongated mitochondria with tubular cristae, which are features of steroid-producing cells.

The zona reticularis produces glucocorticoids and androgens. The principal secretion is the weak androgens, mainly dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

Terminology Zona reticularis 
Function  Produce weak androgens and glucocorticoids
Location  Inner layer of the suprarenal cortex

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

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