Long promised blog post on pancreatic histology

Click over to my blog for the posting with a bunch of high-resolution photomicrographs for the pancreas. In the post I describe the normal histology of the pancreas, the histology and cell types of the islet of langerhand (endocrine pancreas). I try to describe the gross anatomy of the pancreas, what each structure is and the function of each cell type within the pancreas. I also provide images (with links) to what it looks like as the beta-cells are attacked and destroyed in the onset of type-1 diabetes. Click on the images to make them larger and enjoy the beauty of the tissue. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks to Gerri for the idea and pushing me to get it done :wink:

This is a very low power magnification of the pancreas using the 2x objective (20x total magnification with eyepiece adjustment). You can see the pancreatic duct in the top center and part of the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) in the top left. The pancreatic duct joins with the common bile duct (formed by the cystic duct from the gall bladder and the hepatic duct from the liver) to form the Ampulla of Vader, which releases its contents though the Sphinter of Oddi (prounded like the dog in garfield cartoons [O-dee]). Within the pancreas are a large number of large blood vessels to supply the tissue and also collect the hormones from the endocrine pancreas. There are also lots of small ducts for draining the exocrine pancreatic (digestive) enzymes into the main pancreatic duct. If you look closely you can see little “pock marks” or light colored blemishes, these are the islet of langerhans. Look right in the middle of the picture at the anvil shaped extension. The large whitish spot in the middle is the islet I imaged for the rest of the post…

EDIT 1: Added pictures of neuroendocrine and acinar pancreatic cancers to compared to beta cell destruction.


Thanks for the pancreas cell photos. Fascinating!