We have heard the word PANCREAS. But most of us have not any clear idea about the vital organ in our body. So, this is a common question often arises at our mind that where is the pancreas situated in our body, what is the structure of and what is its working and functions.
We have many internal organs working together a t our body for our comfort and fitness and to carry on the system of our life. Like the Heart, Lungs, Stomach, Liver etc. the pancreas is also a vital organ at our body. So it is a very good question on behalf of common people who has not very good idea about the anatomy of human body is that where is the pancreas positioning at our body.
Where is the Pancreas?
The pancreas is located in the abdominal cavity, just below the stomach and remains horizontally extended from the duodenal arch to the spleen on the left side. This elongated gland is divisible into three parts—head, body and tail. The 'head' is the wider portion located within the duodenal arch. The next major portion is the 'body' and the narrow end attached to spleen is the 'tail'. However, there is no sharp demarcation between these three portions.
Histological (Microscopic) structure
That we have come to know that anatomically where is the pancreas in human body. Now we shall get some idea about its microscopic structure. Pancreas is a mixed gland containing both exocrine and endocrine tissues. The exocrine portion secretes digestive juice into the pancreatic duct whereas the endocrine tissue secretes hormones into the blood.
The structure of exocrine pancreas is more or less similar to that of salivary gland. It is made up of numerous secretory alveoli or acini (sing, acinus). In each acinus, a central lumen (excretory duct) remains surrounded by a single layer of cubical or columnar cells. Excretory ducts emerging from adjacent acini join together to form gradually larger ducts that finally lead into the main pancreatic duct which opens into-the duodenum along with the bile duct.
As we have already come to know that where is the pancreas in our body that it will be a interesting study that the endocrine tissues of pancreas are called islands of Langerhans that remain scattered here and there in between the acinar tissue. The islands (or islets) are made up of closely packed mass of cells. These are not connected with duct system of the gland but are richly supplied with blood vessels. The islets constitute only 1-2 percent of the whole pancreas and are most abundant in tail portion of the gland.
three types of cells are found in the islets; these are—
i) Alpha or A-cells
ii) Beta or B-cells
iii) Delta or D-cells
Among these three cells are most abundant, A- cells are relatively fewer and B- cells are least in number.
Hormones of pancreas
Now we have already got some idea about where is the pancreas position and its histological structure, now it be very easy to study about the hormones of the pancreas. Insulin and glucagon, the chief hormones of pancreas, regulate the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein. These two hormones are functionally opposite to each other. Somatostatin on the other hand, regulates the secretion of other hormones and gastrointestinal functions.