The thyroid gland is an important
endocrine gland in the human body.
Endocrine glands differ from "exocrine" glands in that exocrine glands have ducts (so may be referred to as "ducted") whereas endocrine glands do not have ducts (and so may be referred to as "ductless").
The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck, below the hyoid bone. It is primarily concerned with regulating the body's metabolic rate - which it does by secreting appropriate amounts of thyroid hormones.
Hormones secreted by the thyroid gland include:
The structure of the thyroid gland consists of two lobes. One lobe is positioned on each side of the trachea and they are joined by the isthmus in the centre. Internally, the thyroid gland consists of many cubic epithelial cells that form cavities called "follicles". These contain a jelly-like colloid (an iodate protein).
For a diagram indicating the locations within the body of each of the endocrine glands, see Endocrine Glands of the Human Body.
- Introduction to the Endocrine System
- What is a hormone ?
- Water Soluble Hormones vs Fat Soluble Hormones
- Triggers for Hormone Release
- Hormone Regulation Feedback Mechanism
- Major Glands of the Endocrine System
- The Pituitary Gland
- The Adrenal Glands
- Non-endocrine tissues that release hormones
- Conditions of the Endocrine System