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Beta cell

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Beta cell

1. (Science: pathology) cells of the pancreas within discrete endocrine islands (Islets of Langerhans) embedded in the major exocrine tissue of vertebrate pancreas.

The B or beta cells (originally distinguished by differential staining from a, c and D), are responsible for synthesis and secretion of insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucosein the blood.

2. Also refers to the beta cells of the anterior lobe of hypophysis. These are a population of functionally diverse cells that contain basophilic granules and secrete hormones such as acth, lipotropin, thyrotropin, and the gonadotropins.

Synonym: basophil cell of anterior lobe of hypophysis.