15 Secreting Organs in Human Body | Their ListLocations & Functions

There are many secretory organs in the human body. This includes

  1. Endocrine glands: Hypothalamus-Pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal gland, the pineal gland, and thymus gland.
  2. Exocrine glands: Salivary glands, lachrymal, ceruminous glands, and sweat glands, mammary glands.
  3. Other glands: Prostrate gland.
  4. Liver
  5. Pancreas
  6. Stomach
  7. Lungs
  8. Kidneys

All the above organs secrete essential substances that help in the regular body physiology.

List of Secreting Organs in detail

As seen in the list above, most of them are glands in the body.

Hypothalamus & Pituitary gland

Hypothalamus is an important part of the brain. The pituitary gland is attached below the hypothalamus. hypothalamus and pituitary act as a unit and secrete hormones that regulate other glands and secretions.

Secreting Organs in human body

Anatomically, the pituitary gland it can be divided into two lobes as the

  1. Anterior pituitary lobe
  2. Posterior pituitary lobe

Anterior and posterior pituitary lobes secrete different hormones along with the hypothalamus as shown in the table below.

HypothalamusAnterior pituitaryPosterior pituitary
Growth hormone-releasing hormoneGrowth hormoneOxyocin
Growth hormone release inhibiting hormoneThyroid stimulating hormoneVasopression
Thyrotrophin releasing hormoneAdrenocorticotrophic hormone
Corticotrophin releasing hormoneprolactin
Prolactin releasing hormoneFollicle stimulating hormone
Prolactin inhibiting hormoneLuteinizing hormone.
Luteinising hormone-releasing hormone

Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the throat region on the larynx and trachea.

It secretes hormones T3, T4 and calcitonin. 

Parathyroid

These are small glands located on the posterior side of the thyroid gland. This gland secretes parathormone which helps to maintain calcium homeostasis.

Adrenal gland

These are a pair of glands each located on the surface of a kidney. They have two portions as

  • Cortex and
  • Medulla.

The cortex secretes steroidal hormones which help in body metabolism and electrolyte levels.

The medulla secretes adrenalin or nor-epinephrine which helps acts as a flight or fight hormone.

Pineal gland

This glans is located in the brain and secretes the hormone melatonin which influences sleep, body growth, and repair.

Thymus gland

This gland is located in the upper portion of the sternum. It secretes the hormone thymosin. This thymosin helps in the development of T-lymphocytes.

Salivary glands 

These glands are located in the facial region and the buccal cavity. They synthesize and secrete saliva into the mouth which helps in chewing the food, swallowing, and digestion. 

Basically, there are three pairs of salivary glands along with many small glands located on the floor of the mouth.

Lachrymal glands

These glands are located in the eye sockets. They secrete tears to keep the eyes clean and moist. 

Ceruminous glands.

These are modified sweat glands located in the outer ear. This secretes ear wax which helps to protect the eardrum.

Sweat glands are located in the skin and help to regulate body temperature. To remove excess heat, sweat is secreted out of these glands on the skin surface.

Mammary glands

These are modified sweat glands present in the female. They help in the production of milk for the nourishment of babies.

Prostate gland

This gland is part of the male reproductive system. It is present in the pelvic cavity surrounding the urethra. It produces a thin milky fluid that forms part of semen. 

Liver

The liver is the organ located in the abdominal cavity above the stomach. It secretes bile juice which helps in the digestion process.

Pancreas

This is both an exocrine and endocrine gland.

It is located below the stomach on to the left side of the body.

The pancreas secretes digestive juice into the intestine from its exocrine portion. This pancreatic juice helps in the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and nucleic acids.

The endocrine part secretes hormones like insulin, glucagon which regulate blood sugar levels.

Stomach

This is a hollow secreting organ located in the abdominal cavity. It secretes gastric juice from its gastric glands in the mucous layer.

This juice helps in the digestion of food, kills microbes, and liquefy the food.

Questions on secretory organs

Secretory organs in the neck

These include thyroid glands, parathyroid glands.

Secretory organs in the brain

The hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal gland.

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