antidiuretic hormone

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a chemical transmitter substance produced by cells of the body and transported by the bloodstream to the cells and organs on which it has a specific regulatory effect. adj., adj hormo´nal. Hormones act as chemical messengers to body organs, stimulating certain life processes and retarding others. Growth, reproduction, control of metabolic processes, sexual attributes, and even mental conditions and personality traits are dependent on hormones.

Hormones are produced by various organs and body tissues, but mainly by the endocrine glands, such as the pituitary, thyroid, and gonads (testes and ovaries). Each gland apparently synthesizes several kinds of hormones; the adrenal glands alone produce more than 25 varieties. The total number of hormones is still unknown, but each has its unique function and its own chemical formula. After a hormone is discharged by its parent gland into the capillaries or the lymph, it may travel a circuitous path through the bloodstream to exert influence on cells, tissues, and organs (target organs) far removed from its site of origin.

One of the best-known endocrine hormones is insulin, a protein manufactured by the beta cells of the islands of Langerhans in the pancreas that is important in carbohydrate metabolism. Other important hormones are thyroxine, an iodine-carrying amino acid produced by the thyroid gland; cortisone, a member of the steroid family from the adrenal glands; and the sex hormones, estrogen from the ovaries and androgen from the testes. Certain hormone substances can be synthesized in the laboratory for treatment of human disease. Animal hormones can also be used, as endocrine hormones are to some extent interchangeable among species. Extracts from the pancreas of cattle, for example, enabled diabetes sufferers to live normal lives even before the chemistry of insulin was fully understood.

Endocrine hormone synthesis and secretion is controlled and regulated by a closed-loop system. Negative feedback loops maintain optimal levels of each hormone in the body. If there are abnormally high levels of a hormone in the blood, feedback to the gland responsible for its production inhibits secretion. If there are abnormally low levels, the gland is stimulated to step up production and secretion. In this way a homeostatic balance is maintained. (See also endocrine glands.)
adrenocortical hormone
1. any of the corticosteroids secreted by the adrenal cortex, the major ones being the glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids, and including some androgens, progesterone, and estrogens.
adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) corticotropin.
adrenomedullary h's substances secreted by the adrenal medulla, including epinephrine and norepinephrine.
androgenic hormone androgen.
anterior pituitary hormone any of the protein or polypeptide hormones secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, including growth hormone, thyrotropin, prolactin, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, melanocyte-stimulating hormone, and corticotropin.
antidiuretic hormone (ADH) vasopressin.
corpus luteum hormone progesterone.
cortical hormone corticosteroid.
corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) a neuropeptide secreted by the median eminence of the hypothalamus that binds to specific receptors on the corticotroph cells of the anterior pituitary and stimulates the secretion of corticotropin.
ectopic h's those secreted by tumors of nonendocrine tissues but having the same physiologic effects as their normally produced counterparts. It is not known exactly how the synthesis and secretion of endocrine hormones from nonendocrine tissues occurs. Most of these tumors are derived from tissues that have a common embryonic origin with endocrine tissues. When the cells undergo neoplastic transformation, they can revert to a more primitive stage of development and begin to synthesize hormones.

Ectopic hormones present serious problems for patients and add to the complexity of caring for those with certain kinds of neoplastic diseases. These hormones do not respond to the feedback mechanisms that regulate normal hormonal production; hence, surgery and destruction of the tumorous tissue by radiation and chemotherapy are the treatments of choice.
estrogenic hormone estrogen.
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) one of the gonadotropins of the anterior pituitary, which stimulates the growth and maturity of graafian follicles in the ovary, and stimulates spermatogenesis in the male.
follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (FSH/LH-RH) luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone.
follicle-stimulating hormone–releasing hormone (FSH-RH) luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone.
gonadotropic hormone gonadotropin.
gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone.
growth hormone (GH) any of several related polypeptide hormones secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland that directly influence protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism and control the rate of skeletal and visceral growth; their secretion is in part controlled by the hypothalamus. It is used pharmaceutically as somatrem and somatropin. Called also somatotrophin, somatotropin, and somatotrophic or somatotropic hormone.
growth hormone release–inhibiting hormone somatostatin.
growth hormone–releasing hormone (GH-RH) a neuropeptide elaborated by the median eminence of the hypothalamus that binds to specific receptors on the somatotroph cells of the anterior pituitary and stimulates the secretion of growth hormone.
interstitial cell–stimulating hormone luteinizing hormone.
lactation hormone (lactogenic hormone) prolactin.
local hormone a substance with hormone like properties that acts at an anatomically restricted site; most are rapidly degraded. Called also autacoid and autocoid.
luteinizing hormone (LH) a gonadotropin of the anterior pituitary gland, acting with follicle-stimulating hormone to cause ovulation of mature follicles and secretion of estrogen by thecal and granulosa cells of the ovary; it is also concerned with corpus luteum formation. In the male, it stimulates development of the interstitial cells of the testes and their secretion of testosterone. Called also interstitial cell–stimulating hormone.
luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LH-RH) a decapeptide hormone of the hypothalamus, which stimulates the release of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland; it can be used in the differential diagnosis of hypothalamic, pituitary, and gonadal dysfunction. Called also follicle-stimulating hormone–releasing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone.
melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) a substance from the anterior pituitary gland of certain other animals but not humans; it influences the formation or deposition of melanin in the body and pigmentation of the skin.
neurohypophyseal h's those stored and released by the neurohypophysis, i.e., oxytocin and vasopressin.
parathyroid hormone (PTH) a polypeptide hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands that influences calcium and phosphorus metabolism and bone formation.
placental h's hormones secreted by the placenta, including chorionic gonadotropin, and other substances having estrogenic, progestational, or adrenocorticoid activity.
progestational hormone
2. progestational agent.
prolactin-inhibiting hormone a hormone released by the hypothalamus that inhibits the secretion of prolactin by the anterior pituitary gland.
prolactin-releasing hormone any of various hormones elaborated by the hypothalamus that stimulate the release of prolactin by the anterior pituitary gland. Most such activity is exerted by vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, although in humans thyrotropin-releasing hormone can also have this action.
sex h's see sex hormones.
somatotrophic hormone (somatotropic hormone) growth hormone.
somatotropin release–inhibiting hormone somatostatin.
somatotropin-releasing hormone (SRH) growth hormone–releasing hormone.
steroid h's hormones that are biologically active steroids; they are secreted by the adrenal cortex, testis, ovary, and placenta and include the progestational agents, glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, androgens, and estrogens. They act by binding to specific receptors to form complexes, which then enhance or inhibit the expression of specific genes.
thyroid h's see thyroid hormones.
thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) thyrotropin.
thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) a tripeptide hormone of the hypothalamus, which stimulates release of thyrotropin from the pituitary gland. In humans, it also acts as a prolactinreleasing factor. It is used in the diagnosis of mild hyperthyroidism and Graves disease, and in differentiating between primary, secondary, and tertiary hypothyroidism.

va·so·pres·sin (VP),

(vā'sō-pres'in, vas-ō-),
A nonapeptide neurohypophysial hormone related to oxytocin and vasotocin; synthetically prepared or obtained from the posterior lobe of the pituitary of healthy domestic animals. In pharmacologic doses vasopressin causes water retention and contraction of smooth muscle, notably that of all blood vessels; large doses may produce cerebral or coronary arterial spasm.
[vaso- + L. premo, pp. pressum, to press down, + -in]

antidiuretic hormone

(ăn′tē-dī′ə-rĕt′ĭk, ăn′tī-)
n. Abbr. ADH

antidiuretic hormone (ADH)

a hormone that decreases the production of urine by increasing the reabsorption of water by the renal tubules. It is secreted by cells of the hypothalamus and stored in the neurohypophysis. ADH is released in response to a decrease in blood volume, an increased concentration of sodium or other substances in plasma, pain, stress, or the action of certain drugs. ADH causes contraction of smooth muscle in the digestive tract and blood vessels, especially capillaries, arterioles, and venules. Acetylcholine, methacholine, nicotine, large doses of barbiturates, anesthetics, epINEPHrine, and norepinephrine stimulate ADH release; ethanol and phenytoin inhibit production of the hormone. Increased intracranial pressure promotes inappropriate increases and decreases in ADH. Synthetic ADH is used in the treatment of diabetes insipidus. Normal values are 1 to 5 pg/mL or less than 1.5 ng/L. Also called vasopressin.

antidiuretic hormone

Arginine vasopressin Endocrinology An octapeptide hormone synthesized in the hypothalamus and released from the posterior pituitary, which promotes renal tubular reabsorption of water by kidneys in response to ↑ osmolality/↓ plasma volume with ↑ sodium and solutes; ↓ osmolality–water excess results in ↓ secretion of ADH, thereby ↑ excretion of water to maintain fluid balance; ADH is ↑ in bronchogenic carcinoma, acute porphyria, hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, cirrhosis, hepatitis, hemorrhage, shock, CHF; ADH is ↓ with diabetes insipidus, viral infection, metastatic CA, sarcoidosis, TB, Langerhans cell histiocytosis/Hand-Schuller-Christian disease, syphilis, head trauma Therapeutic effects ADH is an antidiuretic and vasopressor, and used for diabetes insipidus


A nonapeptide neurohypophysial hormone related to oxytocin and vasotocin; synthetically prepared or obtained from the posterior lobe of the pituitary of healthy domestic animals. In pharmacologic doses, vasopressin causes contraction of smooth muscle, notably that of all blood vessels; large doses may produce cerebral or coronary arterial spasm.
Compare: bioregulator
Synonym(s): antidiuretic hormone.
[vaso- + L. premo, pp. pressum, to press down, + -in]

antidiuretic hormone

Vasopressin. The hormone released by the rear part of the PITUITARY gland which acts on the kidneys to control water excretion. In the absence of this hormone, large quantities of urine are produced, as in DIABETES INSIPIDUS.

antidiuretic hormone

see ADH.

Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin)

A hormone that acts on the kidneys to regulate water balance.
Mentioned in: Pituitary Dwarfism

antidiuretic hormone,

n hormone secreted by the hypothalamus that decreases urine production by causing renal tubules to reabsorb water.


(VP) (vā'sō-pres'in)
Nonapeptide neurohypophysial hormone related to oxytocin and vasotocin.
[vaso- + L. premo, pp. pressum, to press down, + -in]


Agent producing vasoconstriction and a rise in blood pressure, usually understood to be systemic arterial pressure unless otherwise specified.


1. pertaining to or causing suppression of urine production.
2. an agent that causes suppression of urine production.

antidiuretic hormone
vasopressin; a polypeptide hormine from the posterior lobe of the pituitary that suppresses the production of urine; it has a specific effect on the epithelial cells of the renal tubules, stimulating the reabsorption of water independently of solids, and resulting in concentration of urine. Stored and released by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, it also has vasopressor activity. Called also ADH.
antidiuretic hormone response test
measures urine specific gravity or osmolality before and after the administration of vasopressin to determine whether a polyuric condition is caused by a deficiency or reduced responsiveness to antidiuretic hormone. Called also Pitressin tannate test, Pitressin concentration test.
syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH)
one in which there is abnormal production of ADH leading to hyponatremia (see also syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone).
References in periodicals archive ?
The posterior pituitary gland or neurohypophysis secretes antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and oxytocin (Table 1).
Antidiuretic hormone: A decrease in blood pressure acts (via the baroreceptors) on the hypothalamus to increase production of antidiuretic hormone (ADH).
Diabetes insipidus and inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion
Margins for error are reduced by pre-existing disease, systemic inflammation, increased secretion of antidiuretic hormone, disturbances of the renin-angiotensin system and natriuretic peptides.
Children who are recovering from surgery, taking certain medications, or fighting an acute illness such as meningitis that requires intravenous fluids may have increased production of antidiuretic hormone (also called vasopressin), resulting in increased water retention.
The indication is for patients with diagnoses that include syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone, heart failure, and cirrhosis.
ANP inhibits antidiuretic hormone by increasing urine sodium loss, leading to the formation of a large volume of dilute urine that decreases blood volume and blood pressure.
Hypovolemia often causes the non-osmotic stimulation of antidiuretic hormone in acutely ill children.
In central (also called cranial) diabetes insipidus, secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) from the pituitary gland is absent (or insufficient) (Singer & Sevilla, 2003).
The increase of % TBW could be the result of different mechanisms: Protein catabolism with hypoproteinemic edema, increased protein synthesis with increased plasma volume (PV), increase in PV due to sodium retention, based on an increased aldosterone concentration and impairment of the antidiuretic hormone and dehydration and impaired renal function due to skeletal muscle damage.