This specimen shows the right and the left Suprarenal glands.
The Suprarenal glands, also known as the Adrenal glands, lie at the upper pole of both kidneys. Golden yellow in colour, each gland possesses two functionally, developmentally and structurally distinct parts: an outer cortex and an inner medulla. The right suprarenal gland is pyramidal in shape and larger in size, whereas, the left suprarenal gland is semilunar in shape and smaller in size. The cortex develops from mesoderm and the medulla develops from the neural crest cells. The cortex secretes three types of steroid hormones, namely the mineralocorticoids, the glucocorticoids and the androgens. These hormones are responsible for controlling the electrolyte and water balance, maintaining blood sugar concentration, maintaining liver and muscle glycogen stores and controlling the inflammatory reactions. The medulla secretes the hormones such as the epinephrine and the nor-epinephrine. Insufficiency of cortical secretion leads to Addison’s disease and hypersecretion of the cortical hormones leads to Cushing syndrome. Pheochromocytoma, a tumour, can develop in the adrenal medulla.