Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pancreas – Organ Producing Digestive Enzymes

Pancreas – Organ Producing Digestive Enzymes
The pancreas, the organ producing the most potent digestive enzymes, is a slender, elongated organ ranging on length from 6 to 9 inches. It runs horizontally behind the greater curvature of the stomach and lies between the stomach and the duodenum.

Two distinctive types of active tissues are found in the pancreas: the acini, or ducted exocrine tissue, that produces the digestive enzymes and the ductless endocrine tissue that secrets hormones, primarily insulin and glucagon.

The enzyme-producing cells are arranged into circular glands are attached to small ducts. Enzymes are packaged into zymogen granules (secretory vesicles) and released when acini are simulated by various secretagogues. The greatest amount of stimulation appears to be exerted by the hormones CCK (cholecystokinin) and secretin. CCK stimulates the release of pancreatic enzymes, whereas secretin causes bicarbonate secretin. Other secretagogues include the regulatory peptides, neurotensin, VIP (vasoactive intestinal peptide) and substance P.

Released secretions are picked up by the small pancreatic ducts and carried into large, main duct of the pancreas. This duct of the pancreas joins with the common bile duct to form the bile pancreatic duct that empties into the duodenum though Oddi’s sphincter.

Enzymes produced by the pancreas are responsible for the digestion of 50% of all carbohydrates, 50% of all protein, and 90% of all fat. In addition, the bicarbonate produced by the pancreas is essential for neutralizing the acid chime passing into the duodenum from the stomach.
Pancreas – Organ Producing Digestive Enzymes

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