Islets of langerhans

The langerhans islands are hormone-producing cell groups in the pancreas. Find out more about the langerhans cells here!

Islets of langerhans

The islets of Langerhans (Langerhans Islets or Langerhans cells) are tissue islets in the pancreas (pancreas). They produce and secrete various endocrine pancreatic hormones, primarily glucagon and insulin, which regulate blood sugar levels. Read all about the Langerhans Islands!

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Islets of Langerhans

  • What are the Langerhans Islands?

  • What is the function of the Langerhans Islands?

  • What problems can the Langerhans Islands cause?

What are the Langerhans Islands?

The islets of Langerhans (Langerhans Islets, Langerhans cells, islet cells) consist of about 2,000 to 3,000 glandular cells surrounded by numerous blood capillaries and are only 75 to 500 microns in diameter. They are distributed irregularly over the entire pancreas, but frequently found in the tail area of ​​the organ. The Langerhans Islands account for only about one to three percent of the total mass of the pancreas.

Read also

  • anus
  • pancreas
  • intestine
  • colon
  • small intestine
  • bile
  • gallbladder
  • ileum
  • jejunum
  • liver

What is the function of the Langerhans Islands?

The Langerhans Islands produce hormones. Depending on which hormone it is, there are four different types of islet cells:

The A cells release the hormone glucagon when the blood sugar concentration drops (hypoglycaemia). Because glucagon stimulates the formation of glucose in the cells and their release into the blood, causing the blood sugar level rises again. High blood glucose levels, on the other hand, inhibit A cells. This cell type accounts for approximately 15 percent of the hormone-producing cells of the pancreas.

The B-cells (beta cells) form insulin, which increases the glucose uptake into the cells and thus lowers the blood sugar level. They make up about 80 percent of all cells in the Langerhans Islands.

The D cells produce the hormone somatostatin, which is released during digestion and inhibits the secretion of glucagon from the A cells and insulin from the B cells. It also inhibits the production of digestive secretions and reduces the mobility of the stomach, intestines and gallbladder. About five percent of the cells in the islets of Langerhans are D cells.

The PP cells produce the pancreatic polypeptide. It inhibits the release of digestive secretions from the pancreas and gives a sense of satiety. The PP cells make up less than two percent of the islet cells.

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What problems can the Langerhans Islands cause?

If the B cells producing the insulin are inadequate or even destroyed by the immune system, type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) results. It occurs mainly in children and adolescents.

In type 2 diabetes, the body's cells react insufficiently or not at all to the released insulin.

Good and malignant tumors of the Islets of Langerhans can affect hormone production.


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