What's the connection between Hypothalamus, ADH and Oxytocin?

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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

ADH or antidiuretc hormone and oxytocin are hormones that are liberated from the pituitary gland(posterior lobe). These hormones are synthesized(made) in the hypothalamus(part of your brain). The hypothalamus produces releasing and inhibiting hormones. Some of these hormones cause the release of other hormones and some of them inhibit or block the release of other hormones. The release of both ADH and oxytocin are under nervous control. The nervous system(ANS, autonomic nervous system) controls the release of the hormones. Oxytocin is a specific hormone that only comes in to play in the pregnant female, it causes the smooth muscle of the uterus to contract during labor. ADH is a hormone that acts on the renal system(target organ) to conserve water(fluid) thereby conserving intravascular fluid volume. The body retains more fluid instead of voiding(urinating) it out.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The connection is that ADH and oxytocin are both produced by the hypothalamus.

ADH (antidiuretic hormone) is a peptide hormone. This hormone is released when the body is low on water and is partially responsible for making us feel thirsty. When this hormone is released, the kidneys save water by making the urine more concentrated.

Oxytocin is responsible for milk secretion in the mammary glands during lactation. Oxytocin is also necessary in the dilation of the cervix prior to birth and causes contractions during and after childbirth. The reason for the contractions after childbirth is to assist the uterus in "clamping down" and preventing hemorrhage. Sometimes a woman is given oxytocin in order to strengthen contractions during childbirth.