The pancreas is a compound, acinar, serous , exocrine gland with islets of endocrine cells.
Most of this view appears packed with secretory acini. Most of these are cut in random planes and look like solid lumps, made of cells having various sizes and shapes. The acinar lumen is visible only when the acinus is sliced neatly across the middle. In such a slice, the acinar cells look like slices of pie, with the lumen in the center.
At the center of a pancreatic acinus is often a centroacinar cell, the initial cell of the intercalated duct which drains the acinus.
Apart from the labelled vessels and duct, and several smaller ducts, glandular stroma is not apparent in this image. Nevertheless, whether visible or not, each acinus is enveloped by a delicate support of capillaries and connective tissue.
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Last updated: 14 August 2003 / dgk