pancreatic juice

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pancreatic juice (păn´krēăt´Ĭk, păng´–), secretions of the exocrine portion of the pancreas into the small intestine. The juice contains a number of important digestive enzymes, including trypsin, chymotrypsin, carboxypeptidase, lipase, and amylase. Pancreatic juice is alkaline in nature because of a high concentration of bicarbonate ions; this helps to neutralize the acidic gastric juice from the stomach. Secretion of pancreatic juice is stimulated by hormones of the duodenum, such as secretin and cholecystokinin, and by nervous impulses through the vagus nerve.

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pancreatic juice The alkaline digestive juice produced by the pancreas and secreted into the duodenum. It contains the inactive precursors of a number of protein digestive enzymes. Trypsinogen is activated to trypsin by enteropeptidase in the intestinal lumen; in turn, trypsin activates the other enzyme precursors: chymotrypsinogen to chymotrypsin, pro‐elastase to elastase, procarboxypeptidase to carboxypeptidase. Also contains lipase, amylase, and nucleases.

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pancreatic juice n. the mixture of digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas. Its production is stimulated by hormones secreted by the duodenum (see cholecystokinin, secretin).