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Explain the importance and give examples of the pancreatic secretions


Explain the importance and give examples of the pancreatic secretions

Step 1

The pancreas is located in the abdominal cavity, inferior to the stomach. It has both endocrine and exocrine functions. In its endocrine function, it secretes hormones to regulate blood glucose level. In its exocrine function, it secretes digestive enzymes to the small intestine for digestion.

Step 2

Endocrine secretion:

In the endocrine secretion, the pancreas secretes various hormones such as glucagon, insulin, amylin, and somatostatin. Islets of pancreas constitute merely 1-2 % of the pancreas. The major three cell types of islets are known as alpha cells, beta cells, and delta cells. These cells secrete hormones, which directly enter into the bloodstream. These hormones are mainly involved in the regulation of blood glucose level in the body.

Glucagon: It is a hormone secreted by alpha or A cells of the pancreas. It plays an important role in increasing the blood glucose level by inducing glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in the liver. Also, it promotes the catabolism of fat and increases the fatty acid level in the adipose tissue.

Insulin: It is secreted by beta or B cells of the pancreas. It primarily acts on various tissues and organs such as the liver, skeletal muscles, adipose tissue. Insulin stimulates the absorption of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids. It decreases the level of glucose in the blood and stimulates the synthesis of glycogen, fat, and protein. Also, it regulates cellular growth and differentiation and it has the antagonistic effect of glucagon.

Amylin: It is secreted by beta or B cells of the pancreas. It decreases spikes in blood glucose and suppresses the secretion of glucagon, gastric enzyme, and bile.

Somatostatin: It is secreted by delta or D cells of the pancreas. It mainly involved in the regulation of digestion, absorption of nutrients from ingested food materials, and secretion of glucagon and insulin. It acts with amylin to limit the stomach acid secretion.

Step 3

Exocrine secretion:

In the exocrine secretion, the pancreatic juice is consisting of two products such as digestive enzymes and bicarbonate. Exocrine acinar cells secrete digestive enzymes, namely amylase, lipase, and proteases. Duct cells produce bicarbonate (HCO3-). The digestive enzymes and bicarbonate secreted from the pancreas and are released to the lumen of the small intestine. The enzymes and bicarbonate play a crucial role in digestion.

Amylase: It plays an important role in food digestion by hydrolyzing starch (major dietary carbohydrate) into maltose (disaccharide). In most organisms, the primary source of amylase enzyme is pancreatic secretions, and also it found in the saliva.

Lipase: Triglyceride is a major dietary fat component and that is not directly absorbed in the body. ...

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