Pancreas – Class 11 | Chapter – 22 | Biology Short Notes Series PDF

Pancreas is an abdominal organ located behind the stomach and surrounded by spleen, liver and small intestine. It is a vital part of the digestive system and is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. It secretes digestive enzymes such as amylase, proteases and lipase into the duodenum. These enzymes help in digesting sugar, proteins and fat respectively. Islets of Langerhans are embedded in the pancreas that secretes hormones such as insulin and glucagon into the blood.

Location of Pancreas

It is located in the abdomen. A part of it is placed between the stomach and the spine. The other part finds its place in the curve of the first section of the small intestine, known as the duodenum.

Location of Pancreas

The head is on the right side of the abdomen and is connected to the duodenum through the pancreatic duct. The tail of the pancreas extends to the left side of the body.

Structure of Pancreas

Structure of Pancreas

  • It is elongated 12-15 cm long organ consisting of head, body and tail. It is located posterior to stomach with its head in the curve of duodenum. The body and tail extends laterally. The tail touches the spleen.
  • It is considered as mixed gland as it acts as exocrine and endocrine gland.
  • As exocrine gland, pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into pancreatic duct.
  • As endocrine gland,it secretes hormones into blood.
  • Only about 1% of total weight of gland acts as endocrine gland. This portion of pancreas is known as Islet of Langerhans.
  • Adult pancreas contsins 200,000-20,00,000 islet of Langerhans.

Functions of Pancreas

Exocrine Function

It consists of exocrine glands that produce enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin that are essential for digestion. These enzymes contain chymotrypsin and trypsin to digest proteins, amylase for the digestion of carbohydrates and lipase to break down fats. These pancreatic juices are liberated into the system of ducts and culminated in the pancreatic duct when the food enters the stomach.

Endocrine Function

The endocrine part comprises Islets of Langerhans that release insulin and glucagon directly into the bloodstream. They help in regulating the blood sugar levels of the body.

Harmones of Pancreas

1. Glucagon

  • Alpha cells produce, stores and secretes glucagon.
  • Glucagon stimulate glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis; increase blood glucose level

2. Insulin

  • Beta cell produce, store and secretes insulin.
  • Insulin stimulate glycogenesis; decrease blood glucose level and Store glucose in the form of glycogen in liver and muscles
  • Insulin function opposite to glucagon and work to maintain normal glucose level in blood.

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By Team Learning Mantras