Short notes on the structure of pancreas

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Short notes on the structure of pancreas

The pancreas is both an exocrine and an endocrine gland. As an exocrine function it secrets many digesting enzymes such as pancreatic lipase. As an endocrine function it secrets two very important hormones insulin and glucagon.

The pancreas is a grayish pink gland that lies across the posterior abdomi­nal wall and is situated behind the stomach The pancreas is supposed, to have three parts. A head, a body and tail. The head is situated at the right and fits into the curvature of the duodenum. The body lies behind the stomach and tail of the gland is in contact with the gastric surface of the spleen.

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Structurally the pancreas consists of a number of lobules supported by fine connective tissue. Each lobule contains groups of secretary cells called acini. From the lobules arise small ducts which unite to form large ducts until they reach the main pancreatic duct. This duct extends from left to right and connects itself to the common bile duct to enter the duodenum at the ampulla of vater.

Embedded between the acinar cells lie clusters of special cells called the islets of Langerhans. There are two types of cells in the islets of langerhans namely the alpha cells and the beta cells. The alpha cells secret an enzyme called glucagon which is concerned with the breakdown of the glycogen in the liver. It increases the glucose level in the blood. The beta cells secret insulin which controls the sugar metabo­lism and maintains the normal sugar level in the blood.

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