ANSC 438 Home / Beginning / Milk Composition / Mammary Structure
Mammary Development / Mother & Neonate / Lactation / Mastitis

Independent Study

Mammary Macro-structure
Dairy Cow Udder Anatomy


Neural system - Several aspects of the neural system of the mammary gland ar important to mammary function:

  1. Innervation inside of the udder is sparse compared with other tissues.
  2. Sympathetic nerves are present in the tissue. These are the nerves that associate with the arteries. They donot innervate the alveoli.
  3. Sensory nerves are found in the teats and skin. These are critical for initiating the afferent pathway (neural pathway) of the milk ejection reflex.
  4. There is no parasympathetic innervation to the gland. This is similar to other skin glands.
  5. There is no innervation of the secretory system. Mypepithelial cells are not innervated. Myoepithelial cells do not contract in response to direct innervation, but rather contract in response to the blood-borne hormone, oxytocin.
  6. Few nerves go to the interior of the udder. That means that performing a biopsy of the gland to collect tissue can be done with only local anesthetic administered to the skin.

Mammary Structure