Digestive System

The Pancreas: Introduction and Index

As chyme from the stomach floods into the small intestine, two things must happen:

The pancreas plays a vital role in accomplishing both of these objectives, so vital in fact that insufficient exocrine secretion by the pancreas leads to starvation, even if the animal is consuming adequate quantities of high quality food.

In addition to its role as an exocrine organ, the pancreas is also an endocrine organ and the major hormones it secretes - insulin and glucagon - play a vital role in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. They are, for example, absolutely necessary for maintaining normal blood concentrations of glucose.

Core concepts in physiology of the exocrine pancreas are presented as the following topics:

Advanced and supplemental topics related to physiology of the pancreas:

Send comments to Richard.Bowen@colostate.edu