There are many secretory organs in the human body. This includes
- Endocrine glands: Hypothalamus.,
the pineal gland, and
- Exocrine glands: Salivary glands,
ceruminous glands, and
- Other glands: Prostrate gland.
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. The hypothalamus and pituitary act as a unit and secrete hormones that regulate other glands and secretions.
Anatomically, the pituitary gland can be divided into two lobes as the
- Anterior pituitary lobe
- Posterior pituitary lobe
Anterior and posterior pituitary lobes secrete different hormones along with the hypothalamus as shown in the table below.
|Hypothalamus||Anterior pituitary||Posterior pituitary|
|Growth hormone-releasing hormone||Growth hormone||Oxyocin|
|Growth hormone release inhibiting hormone||Thyroid stimulating hormone||Vasopression or antidiuretic hormone|
|Thyrotrophin releasing hormone||Adrenocorticotrophic hormone|
|Corticotrophin releasing hormone||prolactin|
|Prolactin releasing hormone||Follicle stimulating hormone|
|Prolactin inhibiting hormone||Luteinizing hormone.|
|Luteinising hormone-releasing hormone|
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the throat region of the larynx and trachea.
It secretes hormones T3, T4 and calcitonin.
These are small glands located on the posterior side of the thyroid gland. This gland secretes parathormone, which helps to maintain calcium homeostasis.
These are a pair of glands, each located on the surface of a kidney. They have two portions as
- Cortex and
The adrenal cortex secretes steroidal hormones like glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids which help in body metabolism and maintenance of electrolyte levels.
The adrenal medulla secretes adrenalin or epinephrine, which helps acts as a flight or fight hormone.
This gland is located in the brain and secretes the hormone melatonin, which influences sleep, body growth, and repair.
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.
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.
These glands are located in the eye sockets. They secrete tears to keep the eyes clean and moist.
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.
These are modified sweat glands present in the female. They help in the production of milk for the nourishment of babies.
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.
This is a hollow secreting organ located in the abdominal cavity. It secretes gastric juice from its gastric glands in the mucous layer. This gastric juice also contains hydrochloric acid.
This juice helps in the digestion of food, kills microbes, and liquefy the food.
The liver is the organ located in the abdominal cavity above the stomach. It secretes bile juice which helps in the digestion process.
It even produces plasma proteins like albumin globulin and lipoproteins like HDL, LDL, VLDL, etc.
The glycogen stored in the liver is also broken down and hence blood sugar is also released from the liver.
This is both an exocrine and endocrine gland.
It is located below the stomach on the left side of the body.
The pancreas secretes digestive juice into the intestine from its exocrine portion.
It consists of pancreatic amylase, lipase, nucleases, trypsinogen, chymotrypsinogen.
These help in the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and nucleic acids.
The endocrine part secretes hormones like insulin, glucagon which regulate blood sugar levels. The pancreatic juice also has bicarbonate ions which help in neutralizing the acidic chyme from the stomach.
It is an organ of excretion. But it also secretes an enzyme named Renin. This renin is secreted when the blood pressure is low. This helps to maintain blood pressure.
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.