Embedded within the exocrine pancreas, pancreatic islets distinguish themselves from the surrounding tissue in several aspects, including toxicology. As a gatekeeper tissue of the pancreas,1 it is equipped with a greater concentration of drug-metabolizing enzymes than the exocrine tissue (see Chapter 7). Moreover, several P450 enzymes are selectively expressed in islet cells. Consequently, some toxins primarily or exclusively affect the islet cells. Although the numbers of endocrine cell toxins have not been sufficiently sought out, a few toxins have been the subject of intense investigation. Streptozotocin (STZ) and alloxan are the most studied compounds.

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