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Apocrine is a term used to classify exocrine glands in the study of histology. Cells which are classified as apocrine bud their secretions off through the plasma membrane producing membrane-bound vesicles in the lumen. This method is also called decapitation secretion. The apical portion of the secretory cell of the gland pinches off and enters the lumen.
An example of true apocrine glands are mammary glands, responsible for secreting breast milk.
- Main article: Metaplasia
Apocrine metaplasia is a reversible transformation of cells to an apocrine phenotype. It is common in the breast in the context of fibrocystic change.
- Mescher AL, "Chapter 4. Epithelial Tissue" (Chapter). Mescher AL: Junqueira's Basic Histology: Text & Atlas, 12e: http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6180489.
Histology: Epithelial tissue (TH H2.00.02)
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