Most endocrine cells are grouped together in organs, such as the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands, whose only purpose is to produce hormones. However, hormone-secreting cells are also present in many other tissues that have a different primary function. For example, the kidneys secrete hormones that stimulate red blood cell production, although their main role is to filter the blood. New chemical substances that act as hormones are still being discovered and their specific roles in the body clarified.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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