Difference between Endocrine and Exocrine Glands

The human body has many glands which produce many secretions, such as sweat, saliva, oil and hormones. Anatomically, these glands are broadly classified into two types based on the presence or absence of ducts. Endocrine glands are the glands that secrete hormones without ducts, while exocrine glands secrete hormones through ducts. Read on to explore more differences between the two.

Difference Between Exocrine Glands and Endocrine Glands
Endocrine Glands
Exocrine Glands
Endocrine glands do not have ducts. Exocrine glands have ducts.
Secretory Products
Hormones Sweat, enzymes, mucus, sebum
Route of Secretion
Secretory products are released directly into the bloodstream, eventually reaching the target organ. Secretory products are released to an internal organ or the external surface through a duct.
Thyroid glands, parathyroid glands, pituitary glands, adrenal glands. Salivary glands, liver, Brunner’s glands, oesophageal glands.

Further Reading

Explore more differences between exocrine and endocrine glands by registering at BYJU’S Biology.

Frequently Asked Questions


Define endocrine glands.

Endocrine glands are called ductless gland. They secrete hormones which are essential for the coordination of our activities. These hormones are secreted directly into the blood to circulate throughout our body.

Define exocrine gland.

Exocrine gland is a gland that pours its secretion on the surface or into a particular region by means of ducts for performing a metabolic activity.

Why is the pancreas known as the mixed gland?

Mixed gland is a gland which has both endocrine and exocrine functions. The exocrine component has ducts, through which its secretions pass. The pancreas is a gland with both endocrine (insulin and glucagon secretion) and exocrine (secretion of digestive enzymes) functions.
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