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Pancreatic Hormones

Pancreatic Hormones

Description:

This lesson will identify the role of the hormones associated with the pancreas in maintaining blood glucose levels.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson on pancreatic hormones. Today, you are going to be learning about the role of the various hormones associated with the pancreas. Specifically, you will look at:

  1. Pancreas Overview
  2. Alpha Cells
  3. Beta Cells
  4. Delta Cells

1. Pancreas Overview

The pancreas’ main role is to secrete hormones that regulate blood sugar levels which is a crucial aspect of homeostasis. You n to keep your blood sugar levels within a certain range and the hormones that are secreted by the pancreas allow us to do this.

Pancreatic islets are groups of three types of cells within the pancreas that secrete hormones. Those groups consist of alpha cells, beta cells, and delta cells. Each of these types of cells secretes a different hormone that has a different role in regulating blood sugar levels.

Term to Know

    • Pancreatic Islets
    • Islets of cells on the pancreas containing cells that manufacture the hormones insulin and glucagon along with many exocrine secretions for the digestive system; also referred to as the islets of Langerhans.

2. Alpha Cells

So alpha cells secrete glucagon, which is a hormone which helps to increase blood sugar levels.

Terms to Know

    • Alpha Cells
    • Cells of the pancreas that secrete glucagon.
    • Glucagon
    • A hormone released by alpha cells in the pancreas which raises blood sugar levels.
IN CONTEXT
Let's say that you've had a super-busy day and you haven't had breakfast and missed lunch. It's getting later in the day, and you still haven't eaten anything; Aa this point your blood sugar levels will start to drop because you haven't eaten anything. Alpha cells in the pancreas will then secrete glucagon to raise those blood sugar levels to a homeostatic point.

3. Beta Cells

Beta cells are a type of cell found within pancreatic islets that secrete insulin. Insulin is a hormone that you may be a little bit more familiar with. Insulin helps to decrease blood sugar levels, so if blood sugar levels start to get too high, insulin is responsible for lowering them. Somebody who is diabetic has an autoimmune disease causing their beta cells to not properly secrete this insulin. Since their body doesn't secrete insulin they have to take insulin injections in order to lower their blood sugar levels.

Terms to Know

    • Beta Cells
    • Cells of the pancreas which secrete insulin.
    • Insulin
    • A hormone released by beta cells in the pancreas which lowers blood sugar levels.
IN CONTEXT
Let's say that you take your little brother or sister or child out trick-or-treating on Halloween and they fall asleep. You decide to go through their candy bag and binge on a bunch of their candy. Your blood sugar levels at that point are just going to skyrocket and beta cells will secrete insulin, which helps to lower those blood sugar levels to help maintain that homeostatic point.

4. Delta Cells

And then delta cells secrete somatostatin. And somatostatin is a hormone that helps to regulate the functioning of these alpha and beta cells.

Terms to Know

    • Delta Cells
    • Cells of the pancreas which secrete somatostatin.
    • Somatostatin
    • The exact function of this hormone is not well understood but it’s believed that it may help regulate alpha and beta cell activity along with some digestive functions.

Summary

So this lesson has been an overview on the role of pancreatic hormones. Specifically, you learned about alpha, beta, and delta cells.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Pancreatic Islets

    Islets of cells on the pancreas containing cells that manufacture the hormones insulin and glucagon along with many exocrine secretions for the digestive system; also referred to as the islets of Langerhans.

  • Alpha Cells

    Cells of the pancreas that secrete glucagon.

  • Glucagon

    A hormone released by alpha cells in the pancreas which raises blood sugar levels.

  • Beta Cells

    Cells of the pancreas which secrete insulin.

  • Insulin

    A hormone released by beta cells in the pancreas which lowers blood sugar levels.

  • Delta Cells

    Cells of the pancreas which secrete somatostatin.

  • Somatostatin

    The exact function of this hormone is not well understood but it’s believed that it may help regulate alpha and beta cell activity along with some digestive functions.