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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

The Cells of the Islets of Langerhans

Section of Functional Genomics and Cell Biology, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK
Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR), University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(3), 54;
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology)
Islets of Langerhans are islands of endocrine cells scattered throughout the pancreas. A number of new studies have pointed to the potential for conversion of non-β islet cells in to insulin-producing β-cells to replenish β-cell mass as a means to treat diabetes. Understanding normal islet cell mass and function is important to help advance such treatment modalities: what should be the target islet/β-cell mass, does islet architecture matter to energy homeostasis, and what may happen if we lose a particular population of islet cells in favour of β-cells? These are all questions to which we will need answers for islet replacement therapy by transdifferentiation of non-β islet cells to be a reality in humans. We know a fair amount about the biology of β-cells but not quite as much about the other islet cell types. Until recently, we have not had a good grasp of islet mass and distribution in the human pancreas. In this review, we will look at current data on islet cells, focussing more on non-β cells, and on human pancreatic islet mass and distribution. View Full-Text
Keywords: islets of Langerhans; insulin; glucagon; somatostatin; pancreatic polypeptide; ghrelin; pancreas; diabetes; endocrine islets of Langerhans; insulin; glucagon; somatostatin; pancreatic polypeptide; ghrelin; pancreas; diabetes; endocrine
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Da Silva Xavier, G. The Cells of the Islets of Langerhans. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7, 54.

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