Glucocorticoids, naturally occurring and synthetic, are adrenocortical steroids.
Naturally occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone and cortisone), which also have salt retaining properties, are used in replacement therapy in adrenocortical deficiency states. Their synthetic analogs are used primarily for their anti-inflammatory effects in disorders of many organ systems.
Glucocorticoids cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, they modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.