One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Relating to or denoting glands that secrete their products through ducts opening onto an epithelium rather than directly into the bloodstream.Often contrasted with endocrine
- ‘In a separate but related system, exocrine tissues secrete their products into ducts and then to the outside of the body or to the intestinal tract.’
- ‘The ovaries perform both an exocrine function by producing ova and an endocrine function by producing estrogen and progesterone.’
- ‘Pancreatic juice, an exocrine secretion, is vital for digestion.’
- ‘Cystic fibrosis, a chronic genetic disorder that affects the exocrine glands, results in the production of excessive, thick mucus that obstructs the gastrointestinal tract and the lungs.’
- ‘There are 4-5 million exocrine glands in the body and approximately one-third of them are in the palms.’
Early 20th century: from exo- ‘outside’ + Greek krinein ‘sift’.
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