The exocrine pancreas is the part of the pancreas that secrets digestive enzymes in inactive form, such as trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen, which are activated in the duodenum into trypsin and chymotrypsin that convert proteins to amino acids. Pancreatic secretions also contain bicarbonate ions and are alkaline in order to neutralize the acidic chyme that the stomach churns out. Control of the exocrine function of the pancreas is via the hormones gastrin, cholecystokinin and secretin, which are hormones secreted by cells in the stomach and duodenum.
The exocrine pancreas has ducts that are arranged in clusters. Pancreatic secretions are secreted into the lumen of the acinus, and then accumulate in intralobular ducts that drain to the main pancreatic duct, which drains directly into the duodenum.
See: endocrine pancreas