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Which Cells Of The Pancreas Produce Insulin

Recover The Ability To Produce Insulin

Insulin and islets: understanding diabetes

Lars Krogvold explains:

We found that the insulin-producing cells still have the ability to produce insulin when they are stimulated in the lab.

But whats new is our additional discovery that the cells increased their ability to produce insulin after a few days outside the body.

Indeed, some became roughly as good at making insulin as cells from people without diabetes.

Some of the hormone-producing cells in the pancreas, the beta cells, produce insulin when they are stimulated by sugar.

Previous work has shown that you do not immediately lose your ability to produce insulin when you are first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

What Are The Target Cells Of Glucagon

The target organ of the glucagon signaling pathway that produces the above metabolic effects is the liver, which removes the liver or blocks the blood flow of the liver , and these effects disappear. In addition, the glucagon signaling pathway promotes the secretion of insulin and islet somatostatin.

What Can A Diabetic Eat For Breakfast At Mcdonalds

Diabetic friendly foods from Mcdonalds: Egg McMuffin, Yogurt Parfait, Low-fat Milk, Coffee, Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken, low-fat Balsamic Vinaigrette, Apple Dippers with low-fat Caramel, Quarter Pounder without cheese, Premium Chicken Classic Sandwhich no mayo, Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken Creamy

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Body Can Regain The Ability To Produce Insulin

Researchers have discovered that patients with type 1 diabetes can regain the ability to produce insulin. They showed that insulin-producing cells can recover outside the body.

Hand-picked beta cells from the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Photo: Oskar Skog, Uppsala University.

Type 1 diabetes is a serious disease that affects many children and adolescents. The disease causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.

When blood sugar levels are too high, the smallest blood vessels in the body eventually become damaged. This can lead to serious health problems further down the line, including heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and foot amputations.

Professor Knut Dahl-Jørgensen and doctoral student Lars Krogvold are leading a research project, , in which they want to ascertain among other things whether a virus in the pancreas might cause type 1 diabetes.

They have previously discovered viruses in hormone-producing cells, the so-called islets of Langerhans, in the pancreas. Now their research has generated some new and surprising results.

Lars Krogvold, doctoral student at the University of Oslo and paediatrician at Oslo University Hospital. Photo: Private

How Do Doctors Perform Islet Transplantation

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Special enzymes are used to remove islets from the pancreas of a deceased donor. The islets are purified and counted in a lab. On average, about 400,000 islets are transplanted in each procedure.1

The transplant recipient will most often receive a local anesthetic and a sedativemedicine to help you relaxfor the procedure. In some cases, the recipient may receive general anesthesia.

The islet transplant infusion procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube called a catheter through a small cut in the recipients upper abdomen. A radiologist uses x-rays and ultrasound to guide the catheter into the portal vein of the liver. The islets are slowly infused through the catheter and into the liver by gravity. Alternatively, a minimally invasive open procedure can be used to directly visualize a vein near the liver to insert the catheter.

Over the next 2 weeks, new blood vessels form and connect the islets with the blood vessels of the recipient.2 The beta cells in the islets begin to make and release insulin into the bloodstream immediately after transplant.

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Pancreatic Islet Cells In Animals Can Flip Their Fate To Produce Insulin

Alpha cells can convert to insulin-producing beta cells in mice when just two genes are blocked, a new Stanford study shows. A similar mechanism may occur in people with diabetes.

Seung Kim and his team were able to convert alpha cells from the pancreas into insulin-producing beta cells in mice. The findings may hold clues to developing treatments for diabetes.Steve Fisch

Alpha cells in the pancreas can be induced in living mice to quickly and efficiently become insulin-producing beta cells when the expression of just two genes is blocked, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Studies of human pancreases from diabetic cadaver donors suggest that the alpha cells career change also occurs naturally in diabetic humans, but on a much smaller and slower scale. The research suggests that scientists may one day be able to take advantage of this natural flexibility in cell fate to coax alpha cells to convert to beta cells in humans to alleviate the symptoms of diabetes.

It is important to carefully evaluate any and all potential sources of new beta cells for people with diabetes, said Seung Kim, MD, PhD, professor of developmental biology and of medicine. Now weve discovered what keeps an alpha cell as an alpha cell, and found a way to efficiently convert them in living animals into cells that are nearly indistinguishable from beta cells. Its very exciting.

How Does The Pancreas Work

The pancreas is 12 to 18 centimeters long and weighs about 70 to 100 grams. It is made up of a head, a body and a pointy tail-like end. Located in the upper abdomen behind the stomach, it has two important functions: It produces

  • enzymes that break down foods in the intestine, as well as
  • hormones that regulate blood sugar levels.

Position of the pancreas

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Review The Dynamic Plasticity Of Insulin Production In

Abstract Although the insulin-producing pancreatic -cells are quite capable of adapting to both acute and chronic changes in metabolic demand, persistently high demand for insulin will ultimately lead to their progressive dysfunction and eventual loss. Recent and historical studies highlight the importance of resting the -cell as a means of preserving functional -cell mass. We provide experimental evidence to highlight the remarkable plasticity for insulin production and secretion by the pancreatic -cell alongside some clinical evidence that supports leveraging this unique ability to preserve -cell function. Treatment strategies for type 2 diabetes mellitus targeted towards reducing the systemic metabolic burden, rather than demanding greater insulin production from an already beleaguered -cell, should be emphasized to maintain endogenous insulin secretory function and delay the progression of T2DM.Continue reading > >

Can A Diabetic Pancreas Start Working Again

Researchers find clue to cure for type one diabetes by manipulating inner cells in pancreas

The pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting diet, say US researchers. Restoring the function of the organ which helps control blood sugar levels reversed symptoms of diabetes in animal experiments. The study, published in the journal Cell, says the diet reboots the body.

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How Stem Cells Could Fix Type 1 Diabetes

Encapsulated stem cell-derived islets could shield cells from the immune system.Credit: Ref. 8

Insulin has been one of the most transformative discoveries in medicine. The isolation of this hormone in 1921 made type 1 diabetes a treatable, rather than a terminal, illness. However, there is growing hope that 100 years later, insulin therapy for T1D might be on the brink of obsolescence.

Insulin is crucial to maintaining safe levels of glucose in the blood. It is produced in the pancreas by cells, which continuously detect circulating glucose concentrations and secrete insulin accordingly the higher sugar levels go, the more hormone is released to counteract the increase. In T1D, however, the cells are destroyed by a persons own immune system.

The cause of this autoimmunity, which typically manifests in childhood, is incompletely understood, but the effect is clear: with neither cells nor insulin, circulating sugar levels remain constantly, toxically elevated. This chronic hyperglycaemia damages blood vessels and nerves, leading to an accumulation of ill-health effects and, if untreated, death.

Now, though, a growing number of scientists and physicians are talking about curing T1D. Their focus is not supplying the body with insulin, but rather replacing the cells that make it.

How Does The Pancreas Moderate The Production Of Insulin

The pancreas needs to and does produce insulin to normalize blood sugar levels. So, what does the pancreas do when the blood sugar levels are already low in the blood?

When the blood sugar levels are low, the pancreas will detect the low blood sugar levels and slow the production of insulin and increase the output of glucagon. Read more about the causes of low blood sugar levels.

In a nutshell, glucagon has the opposite effect of insulin. Glucagon works by breaking down glycogen in the liver. This causes a release of glucose into the bloodstream to raise the blood sugar levels to normal levels.

With the pancreas slowing down the production of insulin, glucose will not be absorbed from the blood. So, blood sugar can be stabilized to more healthy levels.

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Cells And Secretions Of The Pancreatic Islets

The pancreatic islets each contain four varieties of cells:

  • The alpha cell produces the hormone glucagon and makes up approximately 20 percent of each islet. Glucagon plays an important role in blood glucose regulation low blood glucose levels stimulate its release.
  • The beta cell produces the hormone insulin and makes up approximately 75 percent of each islet. Elevated blood glucose levels stimulate the release of insulin.
  • The delta cell accounts for four percent of the islet cells and secretes the peptide hormone somatostatin. Recall that somatostatin is also released by the hypothalamus , and the stomach and intestines also secrete it. An inhibiting hormone, pancreatic somatostatin inhibits the release of both glucagon and insulin.
  • The PP cell accounts for about one percent of islet cells and secretes the pancreatic polypeptide hormone. It is thought to play a role in appetite, as well as in the regulation of pancreatic exocrine and endocrine secretions. Pancreatic polypeptide released following a meal may reduce further food consumption however, it is also released in response to fasting.

Pancreatic Beta Cell Identity In Humans And The Role Of Type 2 Diabetes

What gland in the body secretes insulin?
  • 1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • 2Department of Translational Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Pancreatic beta cells uniquely synthetize, store, and release insulin. Specific molecular, functional as well as ultrastructural traits characterize their insulin secretion properties and survival phentoype. In this review we focus on human islet/beta cells, and describe the changes that occur in type 2 diabetes and could play roles in the disease as well as represent possible targets for therapeutical interventions. These include transcription factors, molecules involved in glucose metabolism and insulin granule handling. Quantitative and qualitative insulin release patterns and their changes in type 2 diabetes are also associated with ultrastructural features involving the insulin granules, the mitochondria, and the endoplasmic reticulum.

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What Is The Role Of Beta Cells

The main function of a beta cell is to produce and secrete insulin the hormone responsible for regulating levels of glucose in the blood.

When blood glucose levels start to rise , beta cells quickly respond by secreting some of their stored insulin while at the same time increasing production of the hormone.

This quick response to a spike in blood glucose usually takes about ten minutes.

In people with diabetes, however, these cells are either attacked and destroyed by the immune system , or are unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin needed for blood sugar control .

Focus On What You Are Eating To Stimulate Pancreas


Knowing about foods that are good for a diabetic patient and deliberately making a choice to consume those foods are two different aspects. Thus, it is important to not just be aware of what is good and what is not for you. Diabetic patients must ensure to include the required foods in their diet. Also, certain food categories must be avoided by diabetic patients.

Nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar in your body. If your body is insulin resistant, you need to focus on your meals. You need to try to include foods that contain plenty of nutrients for keeping you healthy. Instead of eating only superfoods, you should look at the meals that you are eating. Some foods that improve your insulin sensitivity and prevent the risk of developing diabetes are:

Apart from focussing on what you are eating, you should drink plenty of water. Keeping your body well hydrated helps in removing excess glucose from your blood. Thus, insulin sensitivity gets better. In addition to this, you need to focus on your portion as well. Portion control limits the excessive intake of carbohydrates and calories. Hence, your body can absorb the glucose in your blood at a slow pace and do not cause blood sugar spikes.

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What Causes Beta Cells To Release Insulin

Insulin secretion In beta cells, insulin release is stimulated primarily by glucose present in the blood. As circulating glucose levels rise such as after ingesting a meal, insulin is secreted in a dose-dependent fashion. This system of release is commonly referred to as glucose-stimulated insulin secretion .

The Endocrine Cells Of The Pancreas

The Mechanism of Insulin Biosynthesis by Pancreatic β-cells

Groups of endocrine cells are found throughout the pancreas. They are called islets of Langerhans because they are scattered like small islands and were discovered by the pathologist Paul Langerhans. These groups of cells produce insulin, glucagon and other hormones. They are called endocrine cells because the hormones that they produce are secreted directly into the blood. These hormones usually help to regulate blood sugar levels, stopping them from getting too high or too low.

When the blood sugar levels rise, as they do after a meal, insulin is released by the islets of Langerhans. This hormone helps sugar to be absorbed from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. Insulin also allows the liver and the muscles to store sugar, as well as keeping the liver from producing more sugar. This lowers your blood sugar levels.

When blood sugar levels are too low, the pancreas releases glucagon into the bloodstream. This hormone does the opposite of what insulin does: It causes the liver cells to release stored sugar. It also makes sure that proteins in the liver are turned into sugar that can then be used for energy. If the blood sugar levels rise, the release of glucagon is stopped.

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Does The Pancreas Produce Insulin

The primary function of the pancreas is to produce hormones. The pancreas produces hormones in cells that detect changes in ones blood sugar levels.

These endocrine cells are built and gathered as clusters known as Islets of Langerhans.

What these cells do is monitor the bloodstream and react accordingly. This means the pancreas will release hormones when its necessary, depending on the amount of glucose detected in the blood.

Whenever you eat food, the carbohydrate content in the food is broken down into glucose. The glucose is then absorbed through the stomach and small intestines, then passed into the bloodstream.

Once glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, a persons blood sugar level will start to rise. When the pancreas detects this increase in glucose, it starts to produce and release insulin.

Among the many cells in the pancreas, insulin is produced by the beta cells in response to a rise in glucose levels.

Insulin works by acting like a lock and key mechanism with the bodys cells. Insulin interacts with cells, allowing the cells to uptake glucose from the bloodstream. Thus, high blood sugar levels are prevented or treated by this method.

Once the glucose is absorbed into the bodys cells, its used as energy to fuel the cells for doing different jobs and tasks.

When the glucose in the blood is dropped to normal levels, the pancreas will stop producing insulin.

How Do Pancreatic Beta Cells Release Insulin

Insulin is secreted by the -cells of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans in response to elevation of the intracellular Ca2+ concentration . This is produced by an influx of extracellular Ca2+ via voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, whose activity, in turn, is regulated by the -cell membrane potential.

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Islets Of Langerhans: The Endocrine Pancreas

Where are the islets of Langerhans? is the only question relating to histology likely to be heard in a general knowledge quiz. The answer is, of course, in the pancreas. Langerhans first described these micro-organs in the rabbit in 1869 , but they were soon identified in mammals and other vertebrates. Similar tissue occurs as endocrine follicles in the wall of the gut in cyclostomes , and as discrete organs in some teleost fish . The major products of the islets are insulin and glucagon, though a number of other products have been identified .

Figure 16.5. Islets of Langerhan stained for glucagon and insulin .


The islets of Langerhans develop from the duct cells of the pancreas. The pancreas itself develops from two diverticuli of the duodenum that give rise to the ventral and dorsal pancreatic buds. In man, cells migrate from the pancreatic ducts and form isolated aggregates that develop into the islets, but in the rat the cells of the ducts proliferate and form cellular aggregates that remain in close contact with the ducts. Further differentiation within these aggregates forms the cells of the islets .


Table 16.3. Average Numbers of Cells of Different Types in the Islets of the Rat Pancreas

Lower Duodenal

Bonner-Weir Susan, in, 2004

How The Pancreas Produces Insulin


By | Submitted On April 17, 2007

The pancreas is an organ located below the breastbone, close to the stomach and duodenum. It’s principle responsibility is to create digestive enzymes and hormones, one of which is insulin. This article will describe how insulin is created in the pancreas and the other hormones that help to modify the blood sugar levels of the body.

The pancreas is made up of exocrine and endocrine cells. Exocrine cells create the digestive enzymes that are passed into the stomach to help break down food.

Endocrine cells are responsible for creating and secreting insulin and it’s counterpart glucagon. These hormones are responsible for controlling the level of glucose in the blood at any one time.

Glucose is effectively the energy that keeps the cells in the body functioning. Without glucose the body would starve. Glucose is absorbed from food via the stomach. The bloodstream passes glucose to all the cells in the body.

Endocrine cells are made up of pancreatic islets or Islets of Langerhans . Within the pancreatic islets are many smaller cells. Two of these cells produce the hormones insulin and glucagon.

The beta cells create and secrete insulin.

The alpha cells create and secrete glucagon.

As the food has been absorbed and energy is used by the cells there will come a time when the blood sugar levels get low. This means the cells could be starved of energy and not work effectively. This might occur when somebody is sleeping or dieting.

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