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Scattered through the sea of exocrine acini are small islands of endocrine cells, the islets of Langerhans. These vital cells produce the hormones pancreatic polypeptide, insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin.

Pancreatic juice

The pancreas produces over a liter of pancreatic juice each day. Unlike bile, it is clear and composed mostly of water along with some salts, sodium bicarbonate, and several digestive enzymes. Sodium bicarbonate is responsible for the slight alkalinity of pancreatic juice (pH 7.1 to 8.2), which serves to buffer the acidic gastric juice in chyme, inactivate pepsin from the stomach, and create an optimal environment for the activity of pH-sensitive digestive enzymes in the small intestine. Pancreatic enzymes are active in the digestion of sugars, proteins, and fats.

The pancreas produces protein-digesting enzymes in their inactive forms. These enzymes are activated in the duodenum. If produced in an active form, they would digest the pancreas (which is exactly what occurs in the disease, pancreatitis). The intestinal brush border enzyme enteropeptidase    stimulates the activation of trypsin from trypsinogen of the pancreas, which in turn changes the pancreatic enzymes procarboxypeptidase and chymotrypsinogen into their active forms, carboxypeptidase and chymotrypsin.

The enzymes that digest starch (amylase), fat (lipase), and nucleic acids (nuclease) are secreted in their active forms, since they do not attack the pancreas as do the protein-digesting enzymes.

Pancreatic secretion

Regulation of pancreatic secretion is the job of hormones and the parasympathetic nervous system. The entry of acidic chyme into the duodenum stimulates the release of secretin, which in turn causes the duct cells to release bicarbonate-rich pancreatic juice. The presence of proteins and fats in the duodenum stimulates the secretion of CCK, which then stimulates the acini to secrete enzyme-rich pancreatic juice and enhances the activity of secretin. Parasympathetic regulation occurs mainly during the cephalic and gastric phases of gastric secretion, when vagal stimulation prompts the secretion of pancreatic juice.

Usually, the pancreas secretes just enough bicarbonate to counterbalance the amount of HCl produced in the stomach. Hydrogen ions enter the blood when bicarbonate is secreted by the pancreas. Thus, the acidic blood draining from the pancreas neutralizes the alkaline blood draining from the stomach, maintaining the pH of the venous blood that flows to the liver.

The gallbladder

The gallbladder    is 8–10 cm (~3–4 in) long and is nested in a shallow area on the posterior aspect of the right lobe of the liver. This muscular sac stores, concentrates, and, when stimulated, propels the bile into the duodenum via the common bile duct. It is divided into three regions. The fundus is the widest portion and tapers medially into the body, which in turn narrows to become the neck. The neck angles slightly superiorly as it approaches the hepatic duct. The cystic duct is 1–2 cm (less than 1 in) long and turns inferiorly as it bridges the neck and hepatic duct.

The simple columnar epithelium of the gallbladder mucosa is organized in rugae, similar to those of the stomach. There is no submucosa in the gallbladder wall. The wall’s middle, muscular coat is made of smooth muscle fibers. When these fibers contract, the gallbladder’s contents are ejected through the cystic duct    and into the bile duct ( [link] ). Visceral peritoneum reflected from the liver capsule holds the gallbladder against the liver and forms the outer coat of the gallbladder. The gallbladder's mucosa absorbs water and ions from bile, concentrating it by up to 10-fold.

Gallbladder

This figure shows the gallbladder and its major parts are labeled.
The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile, and releases it into the two-way cystic duct when it is needed by the small intestine.

Chapter review

Chemical digestion in the small intestine cannot occur without the help of the liver and pancreas. The liver produces bile and delivers it to the common hepatic duct. Bile contains bile salts and phospholipids, which emulsify large lipid globules into tiny lipid droplets, a necessary step in lipid digestion and absorption. The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile, releasing it when it is needed by the small intestine.

The pancreas produces the enzyme- and bicarbonate-rich pancreatic juice and delivers it to the small intestine through ducts. Pancreatic juice buffers the acidic gastric juice in chyme, inactivates pepsin from the stomach, and enables the optimal functioning of digestive enzymes in the small intestine.

Watch this video to see the structure of the liver and how this structure supports the functions of the liver, including the processing of nutrients, toxins, and wastes. At rest, about 1500 mL of blood per minute flow through the liver. What percentage of this blood flow comes from the hepatic portal system?

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Questions & Answers

What is anatomy
Tiamiyu Reply
anatomy is the study of the different organs of the body being internal and external organ
Cyrille
is't possible for non-identical twins to have different father ? ?
Cyrille
ANATOMY is the scientific study of the structure of human or animal bodies.
jagriti
Anatomy is the branch of science concerned with the bodily structure of humans, animals, and other living organisms, especially as revealed by dissection and the separation of parts.
Brightone
anatomy is the branch of science that duty with the study structure of the human and living organisms.
Masiame
examples of lymph nodes
Arimpa Reply
Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the neck, axilla (underarm), chest, abdomen, and groin. For example, there are about 20-40 lymph nodes in the axilla. Also called lymph gland. Anatomy of the lymph system, showing the lymph vessels and lymph organs including lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen,
Adnan
Excellent 😊
Sharon
in part of body where did we get medulla
Olawale Reply
Are you referring to the medulla oblongata? In which case, this is a part of the brain, located at the brain stem. It controls a lot of our unconscious behaviors such as motor coordination, breathing, etc.. But medulla generally refers to an innermost structure, so it can be found in hair or kidneys
Elliot
How does blood circulate in the upper limbs
Mary Reply
From the aortic arch, blood is supplied to the brain via the R and L carotid arteries. To supply the upper limbs, blood goes to the R and L subclavian arteries, axillary, radial/ulnar, palmar and carpal arteries.
Elliot
describe the muscles found in the heart
Atotwe Reply
myocardial
Kenndy
thank you very much
Atotwe
asalamu aleikum
Cabdala
waalekum salam
Tifu
types of connective tissues?
Tifu
what is a muscular system and details about it
Jackson Reply
what is the type of homones responseble for blenking of eyes
Moses Reply
what are the functions of cell?
Keyirangzile Reply
how does the femur act as a lever?
Mutoni Reply
what is stumac
Abdussalam Reply
What is phagocytosis
Mohamed Reply
Phagocytosis, process by which certain living cells called phagocyte
Sadashiv
It is the process that is carried out by the immune system of the body, that certain specialized immune cells (macrophages, Nks, dendritic cells, etc) that engulf and neutralize the foreign substances that invades the body.
Wesley
So that they can be predicate out of the body.
Wesley
phagocytosis is the process by which living cell or yh plasma membrane engulf large molecules into it internal environment ... it also known as food feeding
Boateng
all that you are say what does it mean?
Dzah
simply is the way the immune system fights foreign bodies by engulfing them..
Dzah
by the help of the immune cells...
Dzah
The process by which a cell engulfs particles such as bacteria, other microorganisms, debris of dead cell.e.g: neutrophils and monocytes (types of white blood cells)
Tifu
what are the six types of connective tissues
Athieno Reply
loose and dense , cartilage and bone , blood and lymph
Queen
describe the structure of the liver
Atwebembeire Reply
what is specific name for spinal cord
Stanley Reply
what is the best description for skeletal muscular
Stanley
what is the best description for skeletal muscular
Stanley
costs of bones of skeleton, their joint s and voluntary
grace
what are examples of long bones
grace
example of long bones will be the femur tibia and humerus and even radius
Nina
so basically long bones are mostly in you hands and feets
Nina
skeletal muscular are voluntary and are attached to the bone by tendon which help maintain the posture and position of the body and it also protects internal organs in the abdominal region
Nina
The specific name for spinal cord is coccygeal segment
Sandra
what are the hormones responseble for blenking of eyes.
Moses
Smallest unit of life
Kimberly Reply
cell
Adnan
The cell is the smallest structural and functional unit of living organisms, which can exist on its own. Therefore, it is sometimes called the building block of life. Some organisms, such as bacteria or yeast, are unicellular—consisting only of a single cell—while others, for instance, mammalians, a
Adnan
cells are the building blocks of life
Stanley

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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