Endocrine Glands

Glands without ducts are called endocrine glands and secrete hormones (chemical messengers), which are released directly into the bloodstream. Some glands are large organs such as the liver, pancreas and kidneys, but more commonly they are very tiny. The endocrine glands are enormously important in the functioning of the body. Endocrine glands generally work in conjunction with one another, so that the release of a hormone in one gland will influence the operation of a different gland. Among other things they influence growth, metabolism (rate at which body functions) and sexual development. The other endocrine glands are the:-

  • pituitary gland at the base of the brain
  • pineal gland in the centre of the brain
  • thyroid gland in the front of the neck
  • parathyroid glands, four of which lie behind the thyroid gland
  • adrenal glands on top of the kidneys
  • islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, under the stomach
  • thymus in the lower neck
  • ovaries in women and the testes in men.

Endocrine Glands

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(Last modified: 22nd Oct 2014)

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