In the article authors describe the milestones in history of discoveries of the adrenocortical hormones. Preparation of
the adrenal extract cortine was the first experimental contribution. Cortine prolonged life of animals whose adrenals
have been removed and had beneficial effects in patients with Addison disease (AD). It was mixture of compounds
comprising carbon, hydrogen and oxygen that belong to the steroids. From those deoxycorticosterone had impact on
mineral metabolism, substances that Kendall termed as compounds A, B, E, and F influenced metabolism of
saccharides and proteins. In 1929 Dr. Hench had observed that the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
were relieved in a patient who developed jaundice and in 1931 he remarked favourable effects of pregnancy to the
course of RA. He suggested that some agent (substance X) was present during jaundice and in pregnancy through that
the symptoms of RA were relieved. In 1941 interest concerned to the compound A, however, this was almost
ineffective in patients with AD. In 1948 compound E was successfully administered to patients with AD and RA for
the first time. Concerning the relation between vitamin E Kendall and Hench gave compound E distinctive name
cortisone. Consequently it was confirmed that compound F (hydrocortisone) is the final product of the adrenal cortex.
Appreciating the work of the most significant groups was awarding the Nobel Prize to Edward Kendall, Tadeusz
Reichstein and Philip Hench in 1950.
history, hormones, adrenal, cortex, Nobel Prize.