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.
- 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.
Early 20th century: from exo- 'outside' + Greek krinein 'sift'.
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