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Table 2 Constitutents of pancreatic juice

Secretion

Function

NaHCO3

Establishes pH environment (pH 7-8)

Amylase

Digests complex carbohydrate

Carboxypeptidase

Digests proteins and polypeptides

Chymotrypsin

Digests proteins and polypeptides

Elastase

Digests elastin

Trypsin

Digests proteins and polypeptides

Lipase

Digests triacylglycerol

Nuclease

Digests nucleic acids

alkaline environment for the enzymes present in the secretion (Table 2).

Enzymes Pancreatic proteolytic enzymes are secreted in an inactive form to avoid digestion of pancreatic tissue. Once within the duodenal lumen, the main enzymes, trypsin, chymotrypsin, and car-boxypeptidase, are liberated and attack different peptide linkages in the protein molecule. Pancreatic amylase converts polysaccharides into smaller saccharide molecules, particularly disaccharide.

Pancreatic lipase is the only source for the enzymatic digestion of fat. Lipase hydrolyzes dietary triglycerides to monoacylglycerols and free fatty acids. Deficiency of pancreatic lipase results in serious fat malabsorption. Pancreatic amylase and pep-tidase deficiency is less serious since small intestinal enzymes would significantly minimize any loss of activity.

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