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Alpha progenitor cells precede the mature alpha cell phenotype. These cells display alpha cell lineage genes but do not produce nor secrete the glucagon hormone. During the secondary transition alpha progenitor cell proliferation occurs along with continous differentiation.
In the pancreas the differentiation of endocrine cells is non-synchronous and lasts from the secondary transition period (which is the major time of endocrine cell differentiation) to the postnatal period.