Endocrine System

The Endocrine Pancreas: Introduction and Index

The pancreas houses two distinctly different tissues. The bulk of its mass is exocrine tissue and associated ducts, which produce an alkaline fluid loaded with digestive enzymes which is delivered to the small intestine to facilitate digestion of foodstuffs. Scattered throughout the exocrine tissue are several hundred thousand clusters of endocrine cells which produce the hormones insulin and glucagon, plus a few other hormones.

Insulin and glucagon are critical participants in glucose homeostasis and serve as acute regulators of blood glucose concentration. From a medical perspective, insulin in particular is enormously important - a deficiency in insulin or deficits in insulin responsiveness lead to the disease diabetes mellitus.

Core information on the endocrine pancreas and pancreatic hormones is presented in the following topics:

Advanced and supplemental topics related to pancreatic hormones:

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