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Definition of Beta cell

Beta cell: A type of cell in the pancreas. Within the pancreas, the beta cells are located in areas called the islets of Langerhans where they constitute the predominant type of cell. The beta cells make and release insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Degeneration of the beta cells is the main cause of type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=32857
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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