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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

The Cells of the Islets of Langerhans

1
Section of Functional Genomics and Cell Biology, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK
2
Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR), University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7030054
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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