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25.6 MB (1.7 MB compressed)
2480 x 3615 pixels
21.1 x 30.7 cm ⏐ 8.3 x 12.1 in (300dpi)
JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of an islet of Langerhans, a group of specialised cells that forms the endocrine component of the human pancreas. About one million islets are scattered throughout the pancreas. Some 3,000 cells in each islet secrete a variety of hormones. The most numerous are the insulin- producing (beta) cells (with blue cytoplasmic bodies) which secrete the hormone directly into the bloodstream. Insulin's main role is in controlling the transport of glucose; insulin deficiency results in diabetes. Other hormones secreted by other cells in the islet include glucagon, pancreatic polypeptide, and somatostatin.
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