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after puberty the glandular tissue begins to develop in response to estrogen release in females. Both males and females have glandular tissue within the breasts. also known as producing milk. . however.The mammary gland is a gland located in the breasts of females that is responsible for lactating.

During pregnancy.  Progesterone .prevents the mammary glands from lactating before childbirth.Mammary glands only produce milk after childbirth. . the hormones progesterone and prolactin are released.  Prolactin – signals mammary glands to begin lactating after childbirth.

 This liquid is rich in antibodies and nutrients to sustain an infant for the first few days of life.During pregnancy. small amounts of a pre-milk substance are produced. . which is called colostrum.

. This causes involution of the mammary gland and decreases the ability to produce milk. the tissues of the ductile system become fibrous and degenerate.As a woman approaches menopause. the time when menstruation stops.

Its color can range from pink to red to dark brown or nearly black.the pigmented area on the human breast around the nipple. but generally tend to be paler among people with lighter skin tones and darker among people with darker skin . Areola .

. The physiological purpose of nipples is to deliver milk to the infant.a small projection of skin containing the outlets for 15–20 lactiferous ducts arranged cylindrically around the tip. Nipple . produced in the female mammary glands during lactation.

. It gives the breast its size and shape. Adipose tissue – develops under the skin of the breast to support 15-20 glandular lobes of the mammary gland.

Each lobe is composed of many lobules. Lobes .Each breast contains 15–20 lobes. at the end of which are sacs where milk is produced in response to hormonal signals. .

form a tree branched system connecting the lobules of the mammary gland to the tip of the nipple. . They are lined by a columnar epithelium supported by myoepithelial cells. Lactiferous ducts . They are the structures which carry milk toward the nipple in a lactating female.

• Lactiferous sinus -a circumscribed spindle-shaped dilation of the lactiferous duct just before it enters the nipple.grape-like clusters where milk is stored. . In nursing mothers.• Alveoli . this dilation stores a droplet of milk that is expressed by compression as the infant begins to suckle.