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apocrine gland A type of gland in which the apical part, from which the secretion is released, breaks down during the secretion process. The gland opens at the surface of the skin near, but not within, hair follicles. From the opening a long tubular invagination extends into the dermis (see INTEGUMENT). Odourless secretions produced by the gland are converted to odorous products by surface bacteria. The scent and musk glands of Mammalia are thought to be modified apocrine glands. Mammary glands and eccrine glands also resemble apocrine glands in structure, development and mode of secretion. Compare HOLOCRINE GLAND.
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