Endocrine Glands


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•  Endocrine glands secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream

The endocrine system is comprised of ductless glands that release chemicals into the blood to regulate body functions

  • hormone is a chemical messenger that is transported indiscriminately via the bloodstream to act on distant target cells
  • Hormones are specific and will only activate cells or tissues that possess the appropriate target receptor
  • The endocrine system is slower to initiate, but has a more prolonged response when compared to the nervous system

Endocrine Signalling


Endocrine Glands

Endocrine glands secrete their product (hormones) directly into the bloodstream, rather than through a duct (e.g. exocrine gland)

  • Major endocrine glands include the pancreas, adrenal gland, thyroid gland, pineal gland and the gonads (ovaries and testes)
  • The hypothalamus and pituitary gland are neuroendocrine glands and function to link the nervous and endocrine systems
  • Some organs may also secrete hormones despite not being endocrine glands (e.g. adipose tissue secretes leptin)

Examples of Endocrine Glands

endocrine table