Calcium and the Pancreas

Normal pancreatic function depends on the precise flow of calcium within and into the acinar cells of the organ. 

By | February 1, 2012

Infographic: Calcium and the Pancreas
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ANDREW SWIFT

Normal pancreatic function depends on the precise flow of calcium within and into the acinar cells of the organ. When food is eaten, low concentrations of the pancreas-stimulating hormone cholecystokinin or of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine cause brief, localized spikes in calcium concentration within the specialized cells. But sustained global elevations of Ca2+ concentration in these cells—caused by elevated hormone or neurotransmitter levels—spell trouble.

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