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Brunner's glands
Section of duodenum. (Duodenal glands in submucosa labeled at right, fourth from the top.)
Latin glandulae duodenales
Gray's subject #248 1176

Brunner glands (or Pancreal glands or "duodenal glands") are compound tubular submucosal glands found in that portion of the duodenum which is above the hepatopancreatic sphincter. The main function of these glands is to produce a mucus-rich alkaline secretion (containing bicarbonate) in order to:

  • protect the duodenum from the acidic content of chyme (which is introduced into the duodenum from the stomach);
  • provide an alkaline condition for the intestinal enzymes to be active, thus enabling absorption to take place;
  • lubricate the intestinal walls.

They are the distinguishing feature of the duodenum, and are named for the Swiss physician who first described them, Johann Conrad Brunner.

Human brunner's gland

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