alpha cell

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Related to Alpha cells: insulin, Beta cells, Delta cells

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 ?
To test that hypothesis, the researchers tagged alpha cells in mice, then killed their beta cells.
Maybe the alpha cell is the more ancestral cell type, and the beta cell is an adaptation of that cell," he says.
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.