International Journal of Pancreatology

, Volume 16, Issue 2–3, pp 131–140 | Cite as

The islet-acinar axis of the pancreas

  • Jürgen v. Schönfeld
  • Harald Goebell
  • Michael K. Mütter


Two decades after Henderson put forward his hypothesis that the remarkable arrangement of the islets of Langerhans within the exocrine pancreas has a specific purpose(2), there is no doubt that insulin regulates both metabolism and secretion of pancreatic acinar cells. Teleologically this is only sensible, because digestion, absorption, and metabolism are not separate functions of the body, but closely related. Thus nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract will stimulate insulin secretion via nervous and hormonal pathways, summarized as the entero-insular axis(124), and the insulin released will not only regulate blood glucose, but will also potentiate exocrine pancreatic secretion. In addition, insulin also stimulates other acinar cell functions, such as transport of amino acids or glucose, as well as protein and enzyme synthesis. Thus, insulin has both short-term and long-term effects on the exocrine pancreas.


Glucagon Acinar Cell Secretin Pancreatic Secretion Cysteamine 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen v. Schönfeld
    • 1
  • Harald Goebell
    • 1
  • Michael K. Mütter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology, Medical ClinicUniversity Clinic Essen and Medical Clinic IV-Gastroenterology-University ClinicMannheimGermany

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