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Areolar gland

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Definition

noun, plural: areolar glands

Any of the sebaceous glands in the areola surrounding the nipple


Supplement

Areolar glands are a type of sebaceous glands in the areola (thus, the name). The areola is the circular field of dark coloured skin surrounding the nipple. Sebaceous glands are an exocrine gland in the skin and function by secreting sebum often into the hair follicle.

The areolar glands produce an oily secretion (a lipoid fluid) that aids in the lubrication of the areola and the nipple, especially during nursing. They may become visible as rounded projections when the nipple is stimulated. The volatile compounds in their secretions act as a stimulus for the appetite of the newborn.1 In humans, the average number of areolar glands may range from 4 to 28 in each nipple.

The areolar glands are also called glands of Montgomery. William fetherstone Montgomery, an Irish obstetrician, was the first to describe them in 1837.


Also called:

  • Gland of Montgomery

See also:


Reference(s):
1 Doucet, S., Soussignan, R., Sagot, P., & Schaal, B. (2009). Hausberger, Martine, ed. "The Secretion of Areolar (Montgomery's) Glands from Lactating Women Elicits Selective, Unconditional Responses in Neonates". PLoS ONE. 4 (10): e7579.