The pancreas has both endocrine (glucagon, insulin, and somatostatin secreted by α, β, and δ cells, respectively, in the islets of Langerhans) and exocrine (digestive enzymes such as amylase secreted by acinar cells into the small intestine via the pancreatic duct) functions.
Most hormones travel in the circulation bound to proteins but it is only the free hormone that is biologically active. However, concentrations of binding proteins may be altered by disease, pregnancy or drugs and affect the amount of free hormone.
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