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MCAT Biology – Pancreas Function

  • by Kerry Goldstein
  • Mar 03, 2015
  • MCAT Blog, MCAT Physics, MCAT Question of the Day

 

A patient is exposed to a virus whose protein coat has several components that mimic features of several different cell types within the pancreas. If the patient is re-exposed to the virus and an excessive immune response is triggered, the patient may exhibit any of the following symptoms EXCEPT:

A) Decreased lipid digestion
B) Increased blood sugar
C) Decreased aldosterone production
D) Decreased blood sugar

Explanation

 

A patient is exposed to a virus whose protein coat has several components that mimic features of several different cell types within the pancreas. If the patient is re-exposed to the virus and an excessive immune response is triggered, the patient may exhibit any of the following symptoms EXCEPT:

A) Decreased lipid digestion
B) Increased blood sugar
C) Decreased aldosterone production
D) Decreased blood sugar

The pancreas has a number of endocrine and exocrine functions. It secretes lipase, which functions in lipid digestion. An auto-immune reaction which attacks the pancreas could decrease lipid digestion. It also produces both insulin and glucagon, hormones that decrease and increase blood sugar, respectively. Depending on which cells in the pancreas are attacked, either lowered or raised blood sugar could result. Thus (C) is the right answer, as it is the only function not associated with the pancreas.

 

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