DURING the past fifteen years a large number of steroid compounds have been isolated from adrenal cortices of animals. Whether the adrenal cortex during life actually secretes each of these steroids remains an unsolved problem. In more recent years it has gradually become apparent that if one classifies according to their major functional effects the various physiologically active steroids which have been derived from the adrenal gland each falls into one of three main groups:
Adrenal steroids possessing activities of sex hormones
Adrenal steroids which affect protein, carbohydrate and uric acid metabolism and which also produce important hematologic changes.
Adrenal steroids which act mainly on sodium, potassium and chloride metabolism and, thus, on water metabolism as well.
Even when classified according to their major functional activities, certain of the steroids exhibit important physiologic effects in one or both of the other two fields. The androgenic adrenal