Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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One of two hormones produced by neuronal cells of the hypothalamus but stored and secreted by the pituitary gland; it acts on the kidneys and the brain, among other tissues. It stimulates contraction of capillaries (thus raising blood pressure), exerts a contractile influence on the uterus, and concentrates urine in the water transport pathways of the kidneys. Vasopressin variation has been implicated as a genetic contributor to typical male behavior in mammals. Aka antidiuretic hormone.

See diabetes mellitus.

Cf. oxytocin.

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