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Definition of Upregulation

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.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=24470
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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