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Comparative Morphology of Pancreatic Islets in Animals

  • Sture Falkmer

Abstract

The pancreatic islets constitute an endocrine organ, present in every class of the vertebrates but lacking in all the invertebrates.1,2 They form an important integral part of the large neuroendocrine system, where the messenger substances are small molecules (amines, amino acids, acetylcholine) and/or peptides of 3 to about 100 amino acid residues in length.3 The neurohormonal peptides produced by the four kinds of cells in the pancreatic islet parenchyma in man, viz. insulin, somatostatin, glucagon, and pancreatic polypeptide (PP), are, however, obviously produced also in the neuroendocrine system of several invertebrates; here, the hormone-producing cells are neurons dispersed in the nervous system2,4 and/or disseminated endocrine cells of open type in the mucosa of the alimentary tract. 1,2 Consequently, a review of the comparative morphology of the pancreatic islets in animals must be made against the background of the phylogeny of the whole neuroendocrine system, in particular its gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) parts.

Keywords

Pancreatic Islet Pancreatic Polypeptide Endocrine Pancreas Neuroendocrine System Islet Hormone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sture Falkmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden

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