In this note, we will discuss the anatomy and function of the gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine system, which includes the endocrine component of the pancreas as well as the endocrine structures of the stomach and intestines.
The general anatomy of the pancreas and the features of its exocrine part are covered in a separate video in the “Digestive system” section. Here, we will focus specifically on the endocrine part.
It is represented by the so-called pancreatic islets of Langerhans.
Most of them are located within the tail of the gland. The islets consist of four cell types.
Beta cells produce insulin, which lowers blood glucose levels.
Alpha cells produce glucagon, which, in contrast, increases blood glucose levels.
Delta cells produce somatostatin, which slows down the secretion of the previous two hormones.
And PP-cells produce pancreatic polypeptide, which suppresses the secretion of the exocrine part of the gland.
The gastrointestinal endocrine system consists of endocrine cells distributed across various organs of the digestive system. These cells produce several types of hormones.
Some of these hormones include:
Endocrine pancreas. Gastrointestinal endocrine system
- islets of Langerhans
- insulae pancreaticae