ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Islets of Langerhans cells, computer artwork. These cells (large, pink) of the pancreas release hormones (dots) into the blood. About 70 per cent of these are beta cells and 15-20 per cent are alpha cells. Both regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels. Beta cells produce insulin hormone to store glucose as glycogen in the liver and muscles. Alpha cells secrete glucagon, which converts glycogen back into glucose when needed for energy. They work as a paracrine feedback system, where insulin inhibits alpha cells and glucagon inhibits beta cells.
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