Definition: the potential and active compound, alveolar, mostly merocrine (with possible apocrine components) milk-secreting gland lying within the breast; it comprises 15–24 lobes, each consisting of many lobules, separated by adipose tissue and fibrous septa; the parenchyma of the resting postpubertal female gland consists of ducts; the alveoli develop only during pregnancy and remain active until weaning; normally, the gland remains rudimentary (undistinguishable from its childhood state) in men.
Synonym(s): glandula mammariaTA, lactiferous gland, milk gland
See Also: breast2
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