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Apocrine gland
exocrine secretion
Merocrine - by exocytosis
Apocrine - by membrane budding (decapitation secretion)
Holocrine - by membrane rupturing

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.

Apocrine glands are a type of human sweat gland that are present in areas such as the axillae (armpits), areola, in the perineum (genital areas), around the belly button and in the external auditory canal(as wax-secreting glands). Specialized types of apocrine glands present on the eyelids are called Moll's glands. Apocrine sweat glands are inactive until they are stimulated by hormonal changes in puberty.

Apocrine glands secrete a milky, viscous odourless fluid which only develops a strong odour when it comes into contact with bacteria on the skin surface. Apocrine glands secrete this fluid by a method called decapitation secretion. That is, the apical portion of the secretory cell of the gland pinches off and enters the lumen of the gland. In contrast to this mechanism of secretion, Eccrine glands secrete by a method called merocrine secretion and sebaceous glands secrete by a method called holocrine secretion.

Apocrine sweat glands are mainly thought to function as olfactory pheremones, chemicals important in attracting a potential mate.

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