alpha cell

(redirected from Alpha cells)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.
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 ?
While the alpha cells cause the blood sugar level to rise, the beta cells ensure that it falls.
When the cells resemble the alpha cells too much, they are not optimal for treating diabetics.
Group A showed islets, consisting of bluish staining beta cells in the central core and pink staining alpha cells forming a mantle around it (Fig.
However, previous studies showed number of alpha cells to be more than beta cells in late fetal period; Probably alpha cells are the first of the endocrine cells to differentiate followed by beta cells or the alpha cells are an early stage of differentiation of beta cells (McEvoy, 1981).
The researchers found that some of the insulin-producing cells also made glucagon, a hormone that is normally made by alpha cells.
To test that hypothesis, the researchers tagged alpha cells in mice, then killed their beta cells.
However, the researchers were missing the second half of the pancreatic equation: cells, like alpha cells, that sense blood sugar and secrete a hormone to offset insulin's effects.
Alpha cells make glucagon, the hormone that raises blood sugar during fasting.
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.
Produced by the alpha cells in the pancreas, glucagon acts on the liver to help raise blood glucose when it becomes low.