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Continuation of chapter 76 notes, focus on ADH

Objective 76.8 Identify the regulatory mechanisms, influencing factors, target actions, and
physiological functions of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) secretion.

Q. What is true about anti-diuretic hormone (ADH)?

a. it's synthesized in the supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus

b. it's secreted by the posterior pituitary lobe (or neurohypophysis)
c. it acts on the kidney
d. It also acts on the blood vessels
e. It's other name is vasopressin
f. it opposes diuresis (reducing the urge to urinate)
g. all of the above

 The main purpose of ADH is to maintain blood pressure homeostasis. By secreting (or not
secreting) ADH, the body can control blood pressure. First, we review some definitions...

"Osmosis is the movement of solvent molecules through a selectively permeable membrane

into a region of higher solute concentration"

 solvent: a liquid that things get dissolved in (e.g. water)

 selectively permeable: only allows solvent or small molecules through

 solute: a thing that dissolves in a liquid (e.g. NaCl)

 dissolve: when a solid is "absorbed" by a liquid

 concentration: the amount of solute in a solvent

Regulation of ADH Secretion

 The change of concentration of ADH from small amount to large amount in the body
fluid is rapid (only a few minutes) in order to balance blood osmolarity.

 The secretion of ADH is regulated by osmosis through osmoreceptors in the

hypothalamus. Osmoreceptors are specialized neurons in the hypothalamus that
expand when the blood is dilute, and they contract when the blood is concentrated.
When osmotic pressure of blood changes the osmoreceptor cells change their size,
which affects ADH secretions.

 When the extracellular body fluid becomes highly concentrated, water in the
osmoreceptor diffuses out of the cell membrane by osmosis  decrease
the size of osmoreceptor  initiates the nerve impulses in the
hypothalamus  impulses are transmitted to the posterior pituitary 
cause secretion of ADH, water retention in kidney.

 When the extracellular fluid becomes too dilute, water diffuses into the
osmoreceptor  increase the cell size of the osmoreceptor  decrease
the signal for ADH secretion, water excretion at kidney.

 Secretion of ADH is also controlled by the cardiovascular reflexes in response to the

decrease in blood volume or blood pressure. When blood volume is decreased 15 - 25%, the
secretion rate increase to as high as 50 times normal.

 The baroreceptor in atria can be excited by stretch caused by high blood


 The reflex impulses from baroreceptors are transmitted to brain to inhibit ADH

 When the blood volume or blood pressure decreases  increase the

secretion of ADH  cause constriction of blood vessels.
Physiological Function of Antidiuretic Hormone ( ADH )

 Decreases excretion of water by kidney. In other words, ADH conserves (or retains)
water by promoting it to go in the direction of urine back into the blood.

 The luminal membranes of the tubular cells are almost impermeable to water in
the absence of ADH. The luminal membrane thus separates 'blood' from urine.

 When ADH is released into blood and is transported to kidney, it binds with the
receptors on luminal membranes  cause formation of cAMP  cause
phosphorylation of chemicals in the special vesicles  vesicles insert into
apical cell membrane  increase the permeability of collecting tubules and
ducts to water  water is reabsorbed from the collecting tubules and duct
by osmosis  water is conserved in the body  producing very
concentrated urine.

Vasopressin Effect:

 Remember, ADH is also called vasopressin, because it has another type of effect that
happens at the same time but in a different location. High concentration of ADH causes
constriction of arterioles throughout the body to increase the arterial pressure. ADH
thus has effects on arterial resistance. This is called a 'pressor' response.

 When the blood volume or blood pressure decreases,  secretion of ADH then 
constriction (tightening) of blood vessels.

By making blood vessels smaller, it helps to increase the blood pressure. This works together
with the renal effects, which are to bring in more water which maintains blood pressure.

When blood pressure goes above the normal value, then the process works in reverse:

If blood pressure is high  ADH is no longer secreted, water is excreted by the kidney into
urine, and the arterioles relax, which lowers blood pressure. Homeostasis will eventually
bring blood pressure to the optimal point, as determined by continuous monitoring by
the baroreceptors in the heart and osmoreceptors of the hypothalamus.