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Beta cell

Revision as of 17:32, 6 November 2006 by 134.147.157.18 (Talk)

Synonyms: B-cell, beta-cell, β-cell
German: Betazelle

1 Definition

Insulin producing cells in pancreatic Langerhans-islands are referred to as beta cells. Beta cells amount as much as 80 percent of cell mass in pancreatic islands.

2 Physiology

Glucose that is absorbed and metabolized to ATP is the most important stimulus of insulin secretion from beta cells.

Increased ATP concentration inhibits potassium channels in the cell membrane. Reduced potassium loss leads to depolarization of the cell membrane.

In the consequence voltage dependent calcium channels are activated that permit inflow of calcium thus mediating secretion of insulin.

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