vasopressin

The definitions used in this glossary of terminology either have been provided by the authors of the articles, or have been extracted wholly or in part, or paraphrased from the following sources: The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, Charles B. Clayman, MD, Medical Editor, Random House, New York, 1989; Biotechnology from A to Z, 2d Edition, William Bains, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 2002; A Dictionary of Genetics, 6th Edition, Robert C. King and William D. Stansfield, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 2002; Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 29th and 30th Editions, W. B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 2000, 2003; Genes VII, Benjamin Lewin, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 2000; The Gale Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders, Volumes I and II, Stacey L. Blachford, Ed., Thomson Learning, New York, New York, 2002; The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts, 1997; Molecular Biology of the Cell, 3rd Edition, Bruce Alberts, et al., Garland Publishing, 1994; The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition, 1966; Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1991.

DEFINITION:

vasopressin
1. One of two octapeptide hormones formed by the neuronal cells of the hypothalamic nuclei and stored in the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland (neurohypophysis), the other being oxytocin. It stimulates the contraction of the muscular tissue of the capillaries and arterioles, raising the blood pressure. It promotes contraction of the intestinal musculature and increases peristalsis, and also exerts some contractile influence on the uterus. It also has a specific effect on the epithelial cells of the distal portion of the uriniferous tubule, augmenting resorption of water independently of solutes, resulting in concentration of urine and dilution of blood serum. Its rate of secretion is regulated chiefly by the osmolarity of the plasma.

2. [USP], A pharmaceutical preparation of the same principle, prepared synthetically or obtained from the posterior pituitary of healthy domestic animals used for food by man; used mainly as an antidiuretic in the treatment of acute or chronic diabetes insipidus, administered intramuscularly as a test of hypothalamo-neurohypophysial-renal function in distinguishing central from nephrogenic diabetes insipidus; it may also be used to stimulate smooth muscle tissue, especially to induce vasoconstriction in the presence of hemorrhage. Called also antidiuretic hormone (ADH).