Life and death of the pancreatic beta cells

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Nov;11(9):375-8. doi: 10.1016/s1043-2760(00)00305-2.


Pancreatic beta cells are responsible for maintaining the body's glucose levels within a very narrow range; their population is dynamic, with compensatory changes to maintain euglycemia. Throughout the lifetime of a mammal, low levels of beta-cell replication and apoptosis are balanced and result in a slowly increasing mass of beta cells. The emphasis in this review is on recent insights on the natural history of the beta cell in a normal pancreas: sources of renewal, survival and changes in differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology*