File:Pancreas histology 005.jpg

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Pancreas Islet Insulin

Rat pancreas - endocrines, endocrine pancreas, island of Langerhans, stained for insulin, counter-stained with toluidine blue

  • 75% beta-cells which secrete insulin. Insulin stimulates the synthesis of glycogen, protein and fatty acids. It also facilitates the uptake of glucose into cells and activates glucokinase in liver cells. Beta-cells are fairly easy to recognize in EM pictures because the contents of their secretory vesicles typically form one or two crystals.
  • 20% alpha-cells which secrete glucagon. The effects of glucagon are generally opposite to those of insulin. The contents of the secretory vesicles of alpha-cells are fairly electron dense, and they are typically smaller than those of delta-cells (average of about 300 nm).
  • 5% delta-cells which secrete somatostatin, a locally acting hormone which inhibits other endocrine cells.
Pancreas Histology Links: overview (label) | exocrine (label) | endocrine (label) | blood vessels (label) | insulin (label) | overview | exocrine | endocrine | blood vessels | insulin | Islet labeled for insulin and Glucagon | Insulin (Fl) | Glucagon (Fl) | GIT Histology


Links: Histology | Histology Stains | Blue Histology images copyright Lutz Slomianka 1998-2009. The literary and artistic works on the original Blue Histology website may be reproduced, adapted, published and distributed for non-commercial purposes. See also the page Histology Stains.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 20) Embryology Pancreas histology 005.jpg. Retrieved from

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G

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