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 ?
The relative ratio of beta and alpha cells was seen to be closer to the adult ratio than in early postnatal days.
The number of beta cells increased rapidly in early postnatal period and outnumbered the alpha cells which got oriented at the peripheral region of the islet tissue.
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.
It has not been typically thought that alpha cells could themselves be a cause of beta cell damage, they said.
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.
The finding suggests that for people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a therapeutic approach could be developed to target insulin receptors or proteins in alpha cells in order to suppress glucagon secretion.
Kulkarni said that it was thought that this increased risk was linked in some way to insulin receptors in the alpha cells, an idea that today's study suggests is in fact the case.
But, what happens in diabetes is the alpha cells become desensitized by repeated insulin injections over many years and they start to behave abnormally.