Human Body

Tissues, Organs, and Glands

What is a gland?

Glands are secretory cells or multicellular structures that are derived from epithelium and often stay connected to it. They are specialized for the synthesis, storage, and secretion of chemical substances. Glands are classified as either endocrine or exocrine glands. Endocrine glands do not have ducts, but release their secretions directly into the extracellular fluid. The secretions pass into capillaries and are then transported by the bloodstream to target cells elsewhere in the body. Exocrine glands have ducts that carry the secretions to some body surface. Mucus, saliva, perspiration, earwax, oil, milk, and digestive enzymes are examples of exocrine secretions.


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