What Is ACTH?
Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. ACTH is a part of a signaling cascade that plays an important role in the stress management functions of the body. ACTH is normally released from the pituitary in response to stimulation by corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a hormone produced in the hypothalamic region of the brain during various types of stress or pain. The principal action of ACTH is to stimulate the synthesis and release of steroid hormones from the adrenal glands, which lie on the surface of the kidneys. These natural steroid hormones are important in the control of blood pressure, glucose (sugar) metabolism, and immune responses such as inflammation (swelling).