Areolar gland

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Areolar glands
Closeup of female breast.jpg
Montgomery tubercles
Latinglandulae areolares
Anatomical terminology

Areolar glands or Glands of Montgomery are sebaceous glands in the areola surrounding the nipple. The glands make oily secretions (lipoid fluid) to keep the areola and the nipple lubricated and protected. Volatile compounds in these secretions may also serve as an olfactory stimulus for newborn appetite.[1]

The portions of the gland visible on the skin's surface are called "Montgomery tubercles". The round bumps are found in the areola, and on the nipple itself. They can become exposed and raised when the nipple is stimulated. The skin over the surface opening is lubricated and tends to be smoother than the rest of the areola. The tubercles become more pronounced during pregnancy.

The number of glands can vary greatly, usually averaging from four to 28 per breast.[2]

They are named after Dr. William Fetherstone Montgomery (1797–1859), an Irish obstetrician who first described them in 1837.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Doucet, Sébastien; Soussignan, Robert; Sagot, Paul; Schaal, Benoist (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. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007579. PMC 2761488. PMID 19851461.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Donovan, Debbi (January 1, 2010). "What are Montgomery's tubercles?". Archived from the original on May 4, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2008.
  3. ^ synd/1513 at Who Named It?
  4. ^ Montgomery, William F. (1837). An exposition of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, the period of human gestation, and the signs of delivery. London: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper. OCLC 738411950.[page needed]