Medical Definition of Upregulation

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Upregulation: An increase in the number of receptors on the surface of target cells, making the cells more sensitive to a hormone or another agent. For example, there is an increase in uterine oxytocin receptors in the third trimester of pregnancy, promoting the contraction of the smooth muscle of the uterus.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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