Definition of Posterior pituitary

Posterior pituitary: The back portion of the pituitary, a small gland in the head called the master gland.

The posterior pituitary secretes the hormone oxytocin which increases uterine contractions and antidiuretic hormone (ADH) which increases reabsorption of water by the tubules of the kidney. Underproduction of ADH results in a disorder called diabetes insipidus characterized by inability to concentrate the urine and, consequently, excess urination leading potentially to dehydration. The urine is "insipid" (overly dilute).

Illustration of the Pituitary Gland


Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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