endocrine system

endocrine system
endocrine system n the glands and parts of glands that produce endocrine secretions, help to integrate and control bodily metabolic activity, and include esp. the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenals, islets of Langerhans, ovaries, and testes

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the system of glands and other structures that elaborate internal secretions (hormones) that are released directly into the circulatory system, and also elaborate paracrine, autocrine, and possibly intracrine regulators that are not released to the blood stream, all of which influence metabolism and other body processes. It includes organs such as the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenal glands, gonads, pancreas, paraganglia, and pineal body; the intestines and the lung also secrete substances that have hormonal functions. See Plate 17.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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