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Encyclopedia > Alpha cell

Alpha cells are endocrine cells in the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas. They are responsible for synthesizing and secreting the peptide hormone glucagon, which elevates the glucose levels in the blood. In rodents alpha-cells are located in the periphery of the islets, in humans the islet arcitechture is generally less organized and alpha-cells are frequently observed inside the islets as well. In the electron microscope alpha-cells can be identified by their characteristic granules with a large dense core and a small white halo. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Drawing of the structure of cork as it appeared under the microscope to Robert Hooke from Micrographia which is the origin of the word cell. Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green). ... The endocrine (i. ... The pancreas is an organ in the digestive and endocrine system that serves two major functions: exocrine (producing pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes) and endocrine (producing several important hormones, including insulin). ... Peptides (from the Greek πεπτος, digestible), are the family of short molecules formed from the linking, in a defined order, of various α-amino acids. ... A hormone (from Greek horman - to set in motion) is a chemical messenger from one cell (or group of cells) to another. ... Glucagon ball and stick model A microscopic image stained for glucagon. ... Glucose (Glc), a monosaccharide (or simple sugar), is the most important carbohydrate in biology. ... Human blood smear: a - erythrocytes; b - neutrophil; c - eosinophil; d - lymphocyte. ... A transmission electron microscope. ... A granule is a small grain. ...

Alternative and more common spelling: alpha-cell or α-cell.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Webvision: Morphology and Circuitry of Ganglion cells (6053 words)
Ganglion cells are larger on average than most preceding retinal interneurons and have large diameter axons capable of passing the electrical signal, in the form of transient spike trains, to the retinal recipient areas of the brain many millimeters or centimeters distant from the retina.
The commonest ganglion cells types of the primate fovea are the P cells or midget ganglion cells and the bistratified blue-on/yellow-off ganglion cell.
Although some of Polyak's giant cells are by cell body size and dendritic tree size characteristics undoubtedly the equivalent of Golgi-stained M cells in far peripheral retina (Kolb et al., 1992; Rodieck et al., 1985; Watanabe and Rodieck., 1989) and of the large-bodied, multibranched reduced silver stained cells of Silveira and Perry (1991).
  More results at FactBites »



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