Lactiferous Duct

Lactiferous Duct

Lactiferous ducts form a tree branched system connecting the lobules of the mammary gland to the tip of the nipple. They are also referred to as galactophores, galactophorous ducts, mammary ducts, mamillary ducts and milk ducts. They are the structures which carry milk toward the nipple in a lactating female.

Lactiferous ducts are lined by a columnar epithelium supported by myoepithelial cells. Within the areola, the lactiferous duct were thought to dilate to form the lactiferous sinus in which supposedly milk accumulates between breastfeeding sessions. However new research suggests that lactiferous sinus does not exist. When a woman is not lactating, the lactiferous duct is frequently blocked by a keratin plug. This plug prevents bacteria from entering the duct in non-lactating women.

The columnar epithelium plays a key role in balancing milk production, milk stasis and resorption. The cells of the columnar epithelium form tight junctions which are regulated by hormones and local factors like pressure and cassein content. Prolactin and/or placental lactogen are required for tight junction closure while progesterone is the main hormone preventing closure before birth.

Read more about Lactiferous DuctDiseases Related To Lactiferous Ducts

Other articles related to "lactiferous duct, ducts, duct, lactiferous ducts":

Mammary Gland - Humans - Structure
... up to form groups known as lobules, and each lobule has a lactiferous duct that drains into openings in the nipple ... units into the lobule lumen toward the nipple, where it collects in sinuses of the ducts ... To keep the correct polarized morphology of the lactiferous duct tree requires another essential component – mammary epithelial cells extracellular matrix (ECM), which together with adipocytes, fibroblast ...
Mammary Gland - Humans - Development and Hormonal Control
... stage, forming only a rudimentary duct tree at birth ... formed thereafter by differentiated myoepithelial cells keeps the polarity of this primary duct tree ... Lactiferous duct development occurs in females in response to circulating hormones, a first development is frequently seen during pre- and postnatal stages and later ...
Diseases Related To Lactiferous Ducts
... The majority of breast diseases either originate from lactiferous ducts or are closely related ... of breast secretion in the lobules and resorption in the ducts nonpuerperal mastitis is frequently caused by a similar mechanism in combination with ...