Islets of Langerhans

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islets of Langerhans (pancreatic islets) Small groups of cells in the pancreas that function as an endocrine gland. The α (or A) cells secrete the hormone glucagon, the β (or B) cells secrete insulin, and the δ (or D) cells secrete somatostatin. The islets are named after their discoverer, the German anatomist and microscopist Paul Langerhans (1847–88).

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islets of Langerhans (I-lits ŏv lang-er-hans) pl. n. small groups of endocrine cells, scattered through the material of the pancreas, that secrete insulin, glucagon, and other hormones. See also alpha cells, beta cells, D cells. [ P. Langerhans (1847–88), German pathologist]

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is·lets of Lang·er·hans / ˈlangərˌhanz; ˈlängərˌhäns/ (also is·lands of Lang·er·hans) • pl. n. groups of pancreatic cells secreting insulin and glucagon.

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islets of Langerhans The endocrine parts of the pancreas; glucagon is secreted by the α‐cells and insulin by the β‐cells.

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islets of Langerhans In the pancreas of jawed vertebrates, tissue that secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon.

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islets of Langerhans: see pancreas.