Mammary Gland

Robert Cardiff, Kimberly H. Allison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The mammary glands of all mammals are structurally and biologically designed to produce milk for offspring. They develop from bilateral ectodermal thickenings that form milk lines extending from the neck to the inguinal region in the developing fetus. Milk buds form as more discrete thickenings along these lines that then develop into the nipple and mammary gland. In mice, there are five pairs of mammary glands located along the ventral milk line between the neck and perianal area. Male mice lack nipples because the mammary tissue regresses in males during embryonic development. The single pair of mammary glands in humans is situated within the superficial facia of the anterior thoracic wall above the pectoralis major and extending upwards into the axilla. However, supernumerary nipples and glands in humans can be present anywhere along the milk line. © 2012

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComparative Anatomy and Histology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780123813619
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Alveoli
  • Duct
  • Lactation
  • Lobular alveolar unit
  • Lobule
  • Terminal duct lobular unit
  • Terminal end bud

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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