The pancreatic islets secrete two hormones, insulin and glucagon. Insulin promotes the lowering of blood glucose and the storage of energy in the form of glycogen and fat. Glucagon has antagonistic effects that act to raise the blood glucose concentration. Additionally, many other organs secrete hormones that help to regulate digestion, metabolism,growth, immune function,and reproduction.
The pancreas is both an endocrine and an exocrine gland. The gross structure of this gland and its exocrine functions in digestion are described in chapter 18. The endocrine portion of the pancreas consists of scattered clusters of cells called the pancreatic islets or islets of Langerhans. These endocrine structures are most common in the body and tail of the pancreas (fig. 11.30).
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