alpha cell


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Related to alpha cell: beta cell

alpha cell

Etymology: Gk, alpha, first letter of the Greek alphabet; L, cella, storeroom
one of a class of cells located in the adenohypophysis or in the pancreatic islets. Alpha cells in the pancreas produce glucagon, which raises the level of glucose in the blood.

alpha cell

A cell of the islets of Langerhans which produces glucagon in response to hypoglycaemia, growth hormone and some amino acids.

alpha cell

1. An enteroendocrine cell that produces glucagon and is found in the pancreatic islets. Synonym: A cell
2. An acidophil of the adenohypophysis (anterior pituitary gland).
See also: cell
References in periodicals archive ?
Alpha cells make glucagon, the hormone that raises blood sugar during fasting.
We found that glutamate, a major signaling molecule in the brain and pancreas, is secreted together with glucagon by alpha cells and affects beta cell integrity," Dr.
Research suggests that exenatide exerts its effects through the GLP-1 receptor, is much more potent than GLP-1, and has all of the actions of GLP-1 -- stimulating insulin secretion, slowing gastric emptying and inhibiting production of glucagon by the alpha cells of the pancreas.
They have found that when the gene called Pax4 is forced on in pancreatic alpha cells, the cells change their identity to become beta cells.
The researchers say that the body then senses a loss of alpha cells, replaces them with new alpha cells, and then converts those too into beta cells.
Produced by the alpha cells in the pancreas, glucagon acts on the liver to help raise blood glucose when it becomes low.