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ACTH is a single-chain polypeptide originate from proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in the pituitary, its half-life in the circulation in humans is about 10 min. In humans, maximum production of cortisol occurs between 4:00 AM and 10:00 AM.A second smaller peak occurs in evening time. It stimulates the secretion of Cortisol (and adrenal androgens) of adrenal cortex. Cortisol sup­presses the release of ACTH by acting on the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary.

Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH):
Secretion of CRH increases in response to stress & in the early morning. It then increase ACTH level.


Note : POMC is the precursor of ACTH as well as several other peptides, including melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH), b-lipotropin, b-endorphin etc.

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