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If the pancreatic duct of a healthy dog is blocked an hour after it has had its food, which one of the following functions of the pancreas will not be affected?
A. Carbohydrate digestion
B. Neutralization of chime
C. Breakdown of protein
D. Maintenance of normal blood sugar level

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: Dog belongs to order Carnivora which is under the sub-class Eutherian (Placentally) which belongs to class Mammalia. It means that the dog has a somewhat similar morphology to humans. The pancreas is a compound gland i.e. it is of both endocrine and exocrine type.

Complete answer: The exocrine nature of the pancreatic gland involves pancreatic cells also known as acini, which secretes pancreatic digestive juices. This pancreatic juice is alkaline and contains various inactive enzymes. These inactive enzymes are trypsin, chymotrypsin, lipases, procarboxypeptidase, amylases, and nucleases. Enzyme trypsinogen is activated by an enzyme enterokinase. The functional duct of the pancreas that opens into the common bile duct is the duct of wirsung which carries pancreatic juices. The pancreas has amylase for the breakdown of starch into maltose. Pancreatic trypsinogen converts proteins into peptones and polypeptides. The endocrine part of the pancreas is islets of Langerhans. Islets of Langerhans consist of alpha, beta, delta, epsilon, and PP cells. Alpha cells secrete the hormone glucagon which increases blood sugar level. Beta cells secrete the hormone insulin, responsible for the decrease in blood sugar levels. Hormone somatostatin is secreted by delta cells while pancreatic polypeptide is secreted by PP cells of the pancreas. Here sugar levels in the blood are maintained by the endocrine pancreas. Hence if the pancreatic duct is blocked still sugar level is maintained in the blood.
Hence, the correct answer is option D, i.e., Maintenance of normal blood sugar level.

Note: The endocrine and exocrine part of the pancreas is independent of each other. Both parts work separately. Along with the functional duct, the pancreas has a nonfunctional or accessory duct known as the duct of Santorini which directly opens into the duodenum.