Functional subdivision of islets of Langerhans and possible role of D cells

Lancet. 1975 Dec 20;2(7947):1243-4. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(75)92078-4.


Immunocytochemical examination of the islets of Langerhans in various animal species, including man, indicates that insulin-producing cells (B cells), glucagon-producing cells (A cells), and cells producing somatostatin or a somatostatin-like peptide (D cells) are not randomly arranged within the islet. Whenever A cells are found in the islet--i.e., mostly in its peripheral part--they are accompanied by D cells. However, most B cells, which occupy a central position, are in contact only with other B cells. In view of the inhibitory effect of somatostatin on both insulin and glucagon secretion, it is suggested that the arrangement of A, B and D cells is important to the normal and pathological functioning of the islet.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glucagon / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Antagonists
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology
  • Somatostatin / metabolism
  • Somatostatin / physiology*


  • Insulin
  • Insulin Antagonists
  • Somatostatin
  • Glucagon