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Mammary Structure
Practice Quiz


This is a sample of a quiz on Mammary Gland Structure module. Print is out and use it to help you study the material.

1. What is the purpose of the mammary suspensory system?

  1. it has no real purpose
  2. it allows the gland to drag on the ground when full
  3. to maintain proper attachment of the udder to the cow
  4. to keep the mammary gland in place inside the body cavity


2. The image below is a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) picture of an alveolus. SEM gives images of the surface of things, as opposed to transmission EM which involves ectioning or cutting tissues. In this case, the stromal connective tissue (collagen and other connective tissue proteins) and the basement membrane have been digested away with protease enzymes. This leaves the cellular structures intact and gives a view of the outside or basal side of the alveolus. "A" indicates the basal side of one of the epithelial cells; "B" points to part of the capillary network which surrounds the alveolus; and "C" points to a myoepithelial cell. Note that the myoepithelial cell has a cell body and appendages that sit down in among the bulges of the basal side of the epithelial cells. Before the connective tissue was digested away, where would the myoepithelial cell be located relative to the basement membrane?

  1. in the capillaries
  2. between the basement membrane and the stroma
  3. between the epithelial cells and the alveolar lumen surface
  4. between the basement membrane and the epithelial cells


3. Which of the following best describes the human mammary gland?

  1. a simple gland
  2. has a large gland cistern
  3. does not respond to oxytocin
  4. a complex gland with many openings per nipple


4.  Which of the following proteins found in milk would you expect to find being synthesized at the RER of the mammary epithelial cell?

  1. serum albumin
  2. immunoglobulin
  3. beta-casein


5. Which is a function of the lymphatic system?

  1. milk storage
  2. transport of vitamin C
  3. returns extracelular fluid back to the circulatory system
  4. milk secretion
  5. stores bacteria out of harms way in the lymph nodes


6. Secretory activity in an alveolus seems to be synchronous. This means that when you look at an individual alveolus in cross-section under the microscope all the cells within the alveolus seem to be in the same phase of the secretory cycle. A neighboring alveolus may be in a different phase of the cycle. Viewing the alveolus as a synchronous unit, rather than just a collection of individual cells, is an important concept in mammary tissue biology. The two general phases of the secretory cycle are said to be, first, the formation of intracellular secretory structures and accumulation of secretory products, and second, the release of secretory products into the lumen. Which of the following would be a primary structure involved in the first phase?

  1. lysozomes
  2. myoepithelial cells
  3. leukocytes
  4. milk lipid droplets
  5. nucleus


7. The sigmoid flexure has what function?

  1. is part of the udder suspensory system
  2. drains blood away from the udder
  3. it has no function
  4. prevents mastitis from occuring in the blood vessels
  5. allows for the downward distention of the udder as it fills with milk


8. The mammary epithelial cell has differences in the plasma membrane at the apical cell surface compared with the basal surface. This fact is consistent with what property of the cell?

  1. the membranes are derived from two different cells
  2. the cell is anti-polar
  3. it has no relevance to cell function
  4. the cell polarity


9. Which of the following best describes a complex mammary gland?

  1. a functionally separate gland
  2. the glands that empty from a single teat or nipple
  3. a gland found in the thoracic region
  4. a gland which is too complex to understand
  5. a non-functional gland


10.  The image below is a section of lactating mammary tissue from a cow. The tissue has been immunostained with an antibody against tubulin to localize that protein in the tissue section. Note that the alveolar epithelial cells are stained with this antibody. What is tubulin?

  1. an organelle involved in generation of energy in the cell
  2. a contactile protein found in myoepithelial cells
  3. a cytoskeletal protein involved in organelle transport within the cell
  4. a milk protein secreted by the epithelial cell

Mammary Structure Module