The exocrine portion of the pancreas consists of parenchymal cells arranged in the form of acini and a system of branching ducts that drain into the lumen of the small intestine.
Acini are composed of pyramidal serous-type cells, each of which produces membrane-bound granules of mixed enzymes for secretion. Pancreatic emymes cleave proteins (e.g., trypsin, chy-motrypsin, carboxypeptidase, ejastase), carbohydrates (e.g., amylase), fats (e.g., lipase, lecithi-nase), and nucleic acids (e.g., ribonuclease, deoxyribonuclease).
Duct cells secrete water, electrolytes, and bicarbonate (HCOp, which dilute enzyme secretions and neutralize acidic chyme.
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