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Major content provider: U.S. National Cancer Institute

Endocrine Glands

The endocrine system is made up of the endocrine glands that secrete hormones. Although there are eight major endocrine glands scattered throughout the body, they are still considered to be one system because they have similar functions, similar mechanisms of influence, and many important interrelationships.

Some glands also have non-endocrine regions that have functions other than hormone secretion. For example, the pancreas has a major exocrine portion that secretes digestive enzymes and an endocrine portion that secretes hormones. The ovaries and testes secrete hormones and also produce the ova and sperm. Some organs, such as the stomach,

intestines, and heart, produce hormones, but their primary function is not hormone secretion. Learn more about endocrine glands and their hormones by selecting one of the following topics.

  • Pituitary & Pineal Glands
  • Thyroid & Parathyroid Glands
  • Adrenal (Suprarenal) Gland
  • Pancreas --- Islets of Langerhans
  • Gonads (Testes and Ovaries)
  • Other Endocrine Glands


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015