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antidiuretic hormone(ăn'tēdīyo͞orĕt`ĭk), polypeptide hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary glandpituitary gland,
small oval endocrine gland that lies at the base of the brain. It is sometimes called the master gland of the body because all the other endocrine glands depend on its secretions for stimulation (see endocrine system).
..... Click the link for more information. . Its principal action is to regulate the amount of water excreted by the kidneys. Antidiuretic hormone (ADH), known also as vasopressin, causes the kidneys to resorb water directly from the renal tubules, thus concentrating the salts and waste products in the liquid, which will eventually become urine. ADH secretion by the pituitary is regulated by neural connections from the hypothalamus, which is believed to monitor either the volume of blood passing through it or the concentration of water in the blood. Dehydration or body stress will raise ADH secretion and water will be retained. Alcohol inhibits ADH secretion. Failure of the pituitary to produce ADH results in diabetes insipidus. In pharmacological doses ADH acts as a vasoconstrictor. The structure and chemical synthesis of ADH was announced (1953) by Nobel laureate Vincent Du Vigneaud and others.
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antidiuretic hormone[¦an·tē‚dī·yə¦red·ik ′hȯr‚mōn]
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.