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The first islets of Langerhans are formed between E16- E18.5 of mouse development. The islets include five different endocrine cell types: alpha, beta, delta, pancreatic-polypeptide producing cells and epsilon cells. Interestingly, in response to a glucose challenge, islets from ventral pancreatic bud origin were found to release less insulin than islets from dorsal pancreatic bud origin. This implies that aside from different developmental pathways, there remain also functional differences between the cells from the two pancreatic buds. In human islets of Langerhans the different endocrine cell types are dispersed throughout the islet, unlike the mouse islet architecture in which the beta cells are generally centrally located and surrounded by the other endocrine cell types located in the periphery of the islet. An intricate network of blood vessels infiltrates the Islet of Langerhans and forms venouls, arteriols and capillaries which enable direct release of hormones into the blood stream.
Insulin I transcript was detected in E10.5 buds, whereas insulin II was found only 1 day later.