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Pancreas: accessory organ Cheat Sheet by

A&P4 digestive system


Posterior to greater curvature to the stomach


Exocrine Function
produce enzymes important to digestion. These enzymes include trypsin and chymot­rypsin to digest proteins; amylase for the digestion of carboh­ydr­ates; and lipase to break down fats. When food enters the stomach, these pancreatic juices are released into a system of ducts that culminate in the main pancreatic duct. The pancreatic duct joins the common bile duct to form the ampulla of Vater which is located at the first portion of the small intestine, called the duodenum. The common bile duct originates in the liver and the gallbl­adder and produces another important digestive juice called bile. The pancreatic juices and bile that are released into the duodenum, help the body to digest fats, carboh­ydr­ates, and proteins.
Endocrine Function(Products: insulin, glucagon, somato­statin )
consists of islet cells (islets of Langer­hans) that create and release important hormones directly into the bloods­tream. Two of the main pancreatic hormones are insulin, which acts to lower blood sugar, and glucagon, which acts to raise blood sugar. Mainta­ining proper blood sugar levels is crucial to the functi­oning of key organs including the brain, liver, and kidneys.


a gland that lies posterior to the stomach produces enzymes that digest carbs proteins fats nucleic acids produces sodium bicarb­onate = buffer stomach acid aunties contents in two first part of small intest­ine's (Duodenum)
The pancreas has a duct running through it that extends into smaller branches which is connected to the duodenum through a duct
The pancreas produces enzymes that aid in digestion and islets of Langerhans

Role in Homeos­­tasis

Balance blood sugar by releasing insulin or glucagon
Help the body digest macro-­­mo­l­e­cules crucial in providing the body energy

Pancreatic juices

Exocrine cells (aka Acinar Cells) produce pancreatic juices that help with digestive activities
pancreatic juices = alkaline fluid mostly made of water HCO3, a mixture of digestive enzymes
vagal stimul­ation during the cephalic gastric phase and stomach motility equal stimul­ation for pancreatic juices


Pancreatic amylase
carboh­ydr­ates/ starches
protein /protease
protein /protease
protein /protease
Elastin Protein
Pancreatic Lipase


Secretory units: pancreatic acini
Cells: acinar cells, centro­acinar cells
Secretory units: islets of Langerhans
Cells: A (alpha), B (beta), D (delta), PP (pancr­eatic polype­ptide) cells
Distin­gui­shing histol­ogical features Presence of islets of Langerhans
Beginning of interc­alated ducts within acini


5 to 6 inches long one-in­ch-­thick retrop­eri­toneal gland extends horizo­ntally from Duodenum to the left abdominal cavity, reaches the spleen


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