Preputial gland

Preputial glands are exocrine glands that are located in the folds of skin front of the genitals of some mammals. They occur in several species, including mice,[1] ferrets,[2] rhinoceroses,[3] and even-toed ungulates[4] and produce pheromones. The glands play a role in the urine-marking behavior of canids such as gray wolves[5] and African wild dogs.[6] The preputial glands of female animals are sometimes called clitoral glands.

The preputial glands of male musk deer produce strong-smelling deer musk which is of economic importance, as it is used in perfumes.[7]

Human homologuesEdit

Preputial gland
Latinglandulae preputiales
Anatomical terminology

There is debate about whether humans have functional homologues to preputial glands. Preputial glands were first noted by Edward Tyson[8] and in 1694 fully described by William Cowper who named them Tyson's glands after Tyson.[9][10] They are described as modified sebaceous glands located around the corona and inner surface of the prepuce of the human penis. They are believed to be most frequently found in the balanopreputial sulcus.[11] Their secretion may be one of the components of smegma.

Some, including Satya Parkash,[12] dispute their existence.[13] While humans may not have true anatomical equivalents, the term may sometimes be used for tiny whitish yellow bumps occasionally found on the corona of the glans penis. The proper name for these structures is pearly penile papules (or hirsutoid papillomas). According to detractors, they are not glands, but mere thickenings of the skin and are not involved in the formation of smegma.[14][15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Martin-Alguacil N, Schober J, Kow LM, Pfaff D (December 2008). "Oestrogen receptor expression and neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the clitoris and preputial gland structures of mice". BJU Int. 102 (11): 1719–23. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2008.07989.x. PMID 18793302.
  2. ^ Clapperton; Kay, B.; Fordham, R. A.; Sparksman, R. I. (1987). "Preputial glands of the ferret Mustela furo (Carnivora: Mustelidae)". Journal of Zoology. 212 (2): 356–361. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1987.tb05998.x.
  3. ^ Cave, A. J. E. "The preputial glands of ceratotherium." Mammalia 30.1 (1966): 153-159.
  4. ^ Odend'Hal, Stewart; Miller, Karl V.; Demarais, Stephen (1996). "Preputial glands in Artiodactyla" (PDF). Journal of Mammalogy. 77 (2): 417–421. doi:10.2307/1382818. JSTOR 1382818.
  5. ^ Mech, L. David; Boitani, Luigi, eds. (2003). Wolves: Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-51696-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  6. ^ Van Heerden, Joseph. "The role of integumental glands in the social and mating behaviour of the hunting dog Lycaon pictus (Temminck, 1820)." (1981).
  7. ^ "Perfumes combine hundreds of ingredients to create 1 fragrance". The Galveston Daily News. 149 (144). AP. September 1, 1991. p. 44. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  8. ^ Kruger L (December 2003). "Edward Tyson's 1680 account of the 'porpess' brain and its place in the history of comparative neurology". J Hist Neurosci. 12 (4): 339–49. doi:10.1076/jhin.12.4.339.27915. PMID 15069865.
  9. ^ Cowper, W (1694, 1724), Myotomia reformata; or, An anatomical treatise on the muscles of the human body, London Check date values in: |year= (help)
  10. ^ Tyson's gland at Who Named It?
  11. ^ Batistatou A, Panelos J, Zioga A, Charalabopoulos KA (October 2006). "Ectopic modified sebaceous glands in human penis". Int. J. Surg. Pathol. 14 (4): 355–6. doi:10.1177/1066896906291779. PMID 17041207.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Parkash, Satya; K. Jeyakumar; K. Subramanya; S. Chaudhuri (August 1973). "Human subpreputial collection: its nature and formation". The Journal of Urology. 110 (2): 211–212. doi:10.1016/s0022-5347(17)60164-2. PMID 4722614.
  13. ^ "Surgical Temptation: A chance to cut, a chance to cure? | National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC)". Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
  14. ^ Hyman AB, Brownstein MH (January 1969). "Tyson's "glands." Ectopic sebaceous glands and papillomatosis penis". Arch Dermatol. 99 (1): 31–6. doi:10.1001/archderm.99.1.31. PMID 5761803.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Parkash S, Rao R, Venkatesan K, Ramakrishnan S. Sub-preputial wetness: its nature. Ann Natl Med Sci India 1982; 18: 109-12 Fulltext