Integumentary System - Gland Development
The secretory glands associated with the integumentary system have similar embryonic origins and mechanisms of development, though are specialised by their locations and secretions. A key process and feature of all gland development is an epithelial-mesenchymal interaction(s). Gland secretion can also be regulated by a number of different mechanisms, including endocrine changes postnatally at puberty and during pregnancy.
The mammary gland development is covered in detail on a separate notes page.
Some Recent Findings
- Human Embryology (2nd ed.) Larson Chapter 14 p443-455
- The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (6th ed.) Moore and Persaud Chapter 20: P513-529
- Before We Are Born (5th ed.) Moore and Persaud Chapter 21: P481-496
- Essentials of Human Embryology Larson Chapter 14: P303-315
- Human Embryology, Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald
- Color Atlas of Clinical Embryology Moore Persaud and Shiota Chapter 15: p231-236
Development of Glands
- 2 main surface types - sweat and sebaceous
- both ectodermal in origin
- form as ingrowth of ectoderm into the mesoderm
- mostly eccrine some apocrine
- apocrine in axilla, pubic and nipple regions
- see also mammary gland development
- associated with hair development
- except plans penis and labia minora
- these glands secrete vernix
(vernix, Latin, vernix = varnish, caseous = cheese=like) This is a specialized coating that forms in late development over the entire fetal surface. The main component, secreted sebum, is secreted by sebaceous glands. The other constituents are cells sloughed off the fetus's skin, and shed lanugo hair. The coating also has a high water content (80%) largely compartmentalized within fetal corneocytes (cells forming the stratum corneum). 
This coating develops intially in a cranio-caudal direction and can be absent in preterm infants.
Some functions include:
- protection of the fetal skin from extraembryonic fluids amnion, urine
- providing a slippery surface helps with parturition (birth)
- acting as a biofilm barrier against infection
vernix caseosa peritonitis
Not an abnormality of development, but a clinical term for a rare post-caesarean section complication due to spilt vernix caseosa at the time of caesarean section mediating a maternal inflammatory reaction.
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, December 8) Embryology Integumentary System - Gland Development. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Integumentary_System_-_Gland_Development
- © Dr Mark Hill 2019, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G