Haumont, S. Department of Histology, Institute of Anatomy, Louvain, Belgium.
Konigsberg, Irwin R. Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Schulz, Irene Max-Planck Institut für Biophysik, Frankfurt, Germany.
Last reviewed:October 2019
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- Chordates and lower vertebrates
- Higher vertebrates
- Exocrine pancreas
- Endocrine pancreas
- Exocrine physiology
- Stimulation of secretion
- Regulation of secretion
- Endocrine physiology
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A composite gland in most vertebrates that is involved with digestion and blood sugar regulation. The pancreas (Fig. 1) is a vertebrate gland organ and is located in the abdomen. It contains both exocrine cells, which produce and secrete enzymes involved in digestion, and endocrine cells, which are arranged in separate islets (the islets of Langerhans) that elaborate (produce) at least two distinct hormones—insulin and glucagon—which play a role in the regulation of metabolism, particularly carbohydrate metabolism. Pancreatic pathologies, which occur as a result of either congenital or acquired diseases, can have grave consequences because they disrupt the important exocrine and endocrine functions carried out by the pancreas. See also: Carbohydrate metabolism; Digestive system; Endocrine mechanisms; Endocrine system (vertebrate); Endocrinology; Enzyme; Gland; Glucagon; Hormone; Insulin; Metabolism; Pancreas disorders; Vertebrata
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