The pancreas is a fist sized organ that sits roughly between the spleen and the duodenum. The pancreas is composed of two main types of tissue that comprise endocrine and exocrine functions. The acinar cells make up the exocrine glands of the pancreas and their function is to secrete an alkaline digestive juice into the small intestine. This digestive juice contains lipase, amylase, trypsinogen, chymotrypsinogen and carboxypeptidase enzymes along with bicarbonate. The exocrine glands of the pancreas are made up of alpha and beta cells that make up the Islet of Langerhans. The function of the alpha cells is to secrete glucagon and the function of the beta cells is to secrete insulin. Between the acinar cells and the Islet of Langerhans is a loose connective tissue that contains a network of blood vessels and ducts and these link the exocrine pancreas to the main circulation. The main digestive function of the pancreas is to neutralise the chyme coming from the stomach and prepare the food for further digestion of the gut.
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