Langerhans, islets of
Best known as the insulin-producing tissue, the islets of Langerhans do more than that. They are groups of specialized cells in the pancreas that make and secrete hormones. Named after the German pathologist Paul Langerhans (1847-1888), who discovered them in 1869, these cells sit in groups that Langerhans likened to little islands in the pancreas. There are five types of cells in an islet: alpha cells that make glucagon, which raises the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood; beta cells that make insulin; delta cells that make somatostatin which inhibits the release of numerous other hormones in the body; and PP cells and D1 cells, about which little is known. Degeneration of the insulin-producing beta cells is the main cause of type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Langerhans islets — or Langerhans islands n. ISLETS OF LANGERHANS * * * …   Universalium

  • Langerhans islets — or Langerhans islands n. ISLETS OF LANGERHANS …   English World dictionary

  • Langerhans, islets of — or islands of Langerhans Irregularly shaped patches of endocrine tissue in the pancreas. The normal human pancreas has about one million of them. Beta cells, the most common islet cells, produce insulin to regulate blood glucose. (Inadequate… …   Universalium

  • Islets of Langerhans — is the area in which the endocrine (i.e., hormone producing) cells of the pancreas are grouped. Discovered in 1869 by the famous German pathological anatomist Paul Langerhans, the islets of Langerhans constitute approximately 1 to 2% of the mass… …   Wikipedia

  • islets of Langerhans — or islands of Langerhans [läŋ′ər hänz΄] n. 〚after P. Langerhans (1847 88), Ger histologist〛 irregular groups of endocrine cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin: their degeneration may cause diabetes mellitus * * * …   Universalium

  • islets of Langerhans — or islands of Langerhans [läŋ′ər hänz΄] n. [after P. Langerhans (1847 88), Ger histologist] irregular groups of endocrine cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin: their degeneration may cause diabetes mellitus …   English World dictionary

  • islets of Langerhans — ► PLURAL NOUN ▪ groups of cells in the pancreas that secrete the hormones insulin and glucagon. ORIGIN named after the German anatomist Paul Langerhans (1847 88) …   English terms dictionary

  • islets of Lang|er|hans — «LAHNG uhr hahns», the small scattered endocrine glands in the pancreas that secrete insulin. Also, islands of Langerhans. ╂[< Paul Langerhans, 1847 1888, a German physician and anatomist] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Islets of Langerhans — Known as the insulin producing tissue, the islets of Langerhans do more than that. They are groups of specialized cells in the pancreas that make and secrete hormones. Named after the German pathologist Paul Langerhans (1847 1888), who discovered …   Medical dictionary

  • Langerhans cell — Not to be confused with the beta cells making up the islets of Langerhans. Langerhans cells are dendritic cells abundant in epidermis, containing large granules called Birbeck granules. They are normally present in lymph nodes, and can be found… …   Wikipedia

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