Connexin 43: A 43-kDa peptide which is a member of the connexin family of gap junction proteins. Connexin 43 is a product of a gene in the alpha class of connexin genes (the alpha-1 gene). It was first isolated from mammalian heart, but is widespread in the body including the brain.Gap Junctions: Connections between cells which allow passage of small molecules and electric current. Gap junctions were first described anatomically as regions of close apposition between cells with a narrow (1-2 nm) gap between cell membranes. The variety in the properties of gap junctions is reflected in the number of CONNEXINS, the family of proteins which form the junctions.Cell Communication: Any of several ways in which living cells of an organism communicate with one another, whether by direct contact between cells or by means of chemical signals carried by neurotransmitter substances, hormones, and cyclic AMP.Glycyrrhetinic Acid: An oleanolic acid from GLYCYRRHIZA that has some antiallergic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It is used topically for allergic or infectious skin inflammation and orally for its aldosterone effects in electrolyte regulation.Carbenoxolone: An agent derived from licorice root. It is used for the treatment of digestive tract ulcers, especially in the stomach. Antidiuretic side effects are frequent, but otherwise the drug is low in toxicity.Intercellular Junctions: Direct contact of a cell with a neighboring cell. Most such junctions are too small to be resolved by light microscopy, but they can be visualized by conventional or freeze-fracture electron microscopy, both of which show that the interacting CELL MEMBRANE and often the underlying CYTOPLASM and the intervening EXTRACELLULAR SPACE are highly specialized in these regions. (From Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2d ed, p792)Lens, Crystalline: A transparent, biconvex structure of the EYE, enclosed in a capsule and situated behind the IRIS and in front of the vitreous humor (VITREOUS BODY). It is slightly overlapped at its margin by the ciliary processes. Adaptation by the CILIARY BODY is crucial for OCULAR ACCOMMODATION.Isoquinolines: A group of compounds with the heterocyclic ring structure of benzo(c)pyridine. The ring structure is characteristic of the group of opium alkaloids such as papaverine. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Eye ProteinsDeafness: A general term for the complete loss of the ability to hear from both ears.Heptanol: A colorless liquid with a fragrant odor. It is used as an intermediate, solvent and in cosmetics.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Zonula Occludens-1 Protein: A 195-kDa zonula occludens protein that is distinguished by the presence of a ZU5 domain at the C-terminal of the molecule.HeLa Cells: The first continuously cultured human malignant CELL LINE, derived from the cervical carcinoma of Henrietta Lacks. These cells are used for VIRUS CULTIVATION and antitumor drug screening assays.Electrical Synapses: Specialized junctions between NEURONS which connect the cytoplasm of one neuron to another allowing direct passage of an ion current.Heart Conduction System: An impulse-conducting system composed of modified cardiac muscle, having the power of spontaneous rhythmicity and conduction more highly developed than the rest of the heart.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Microscopy, Confocal: A light microscopic technique in which only a small spot is illuminated and observed at a time. An image is constructed through point-by-point scanning of the field in this manner. Light sources may be conventional or laser, and fluorescence or transmitted observations are possible.Freeze Fracturing: Preparation for electron microscopy of minute replicas of exposed surfaces of the cell which have been ruptured in the frozen state. The specimen is frozen, then cleaved under high vacuum at the same temperature. The exposed surface is shadowed with carbon and platinum and coated with carbon to obtain a carbon replica.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Cataract: Partial or complete opacity on or in the lens or capsule of one or both eyes, impairing vision or causing blindness. The many kinds of cataract are classified by their morphology (size, shape, location) or etiology (cause and time of occurrence). (Dorland, 27th ed)RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Myocytes, Cardiac: Striated muscle cells found in the heart. They are derived from cardiac myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, CARDIAC).Ion Channel Gating: The opening and closing of ion channels due to a stimulus. The stimulus can be a change in membrane potential (voltage-gated), drugs or chemical transmitters (ligand-gated), or a mechanical deformation. Gating is thought to involve conformational changes of the ion channel which alters selective permeability.Oocytes: Female germ cells derived from OOGONIA and termed OOCYTES when they enter MEIOSIS. The primary oocytes begin meiosis but are arrested at the diplotene state until OVULATION at PUBERTY to give rise to haploid secondary oocytes or ova (OVUM).Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Keratoderma, Palmoplantar: Group of mostly hereditary disorders characterized by thickening of the palms and soles as a result of excessive keratin formation leading to hypertrophy of the stratum corneum (hyperkeratosis).Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease: A hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy transmitted most often as an autosomal dominant trait and characterized by progressive distal wasting and loss of reflexes in the muscles of the legs (and occasionally involving the arms). Onset is usually in the second to fourth decade of life. This condition has been divided into two subtypes, hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN) types I and II. HMSN I is associated with abnormal nerve conduction velocities and nerve hypertrophy, features not seen in HMSN II. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1343)Astrocytes: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system - the largest and most numerous neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes (from "star" cells) are irregularly shaped with many long processes, including those with "end feet" which form the glial (limiting) membrane and directly and indirectly contribute to the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER. They regulate the extracellular ionic and chemical environment, and "reactive astrocytes" (along with MICROGLIA) respond to injury.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.Bundle of His: Small band of specialized CARDIAC MUSCLE fibers that originates in the ATRIOVENTRICULAR NODE and extends into the membranous part of the interventricular septum. The bundle of His, consisting of the left and the right bundle branches, conducts the electrical impulses to the HEART VENTRICLES in generation of MYOCARDIAL CONTRACTION.Ichthyosis: Any of several generalized skin disorders characterized by dryness, roughness, and scaliness, due to hypertrophy of the stratum corneum epidermis. Most are genetic, but some are acquired, developing in association with other systemic disease or genetic syndrome.Ion Channels: Gated, ion-selective glycoproteins that traverse membranes. The stimulus for ION CHANNEL GATING can be due to a variety of stimuli such as LIGANDS, a TRANSMEMBRANE POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE, mechanical deformation or through INTRACELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS.Fluorescent Dyes: Agents that emit light after excitation by light. The wave length of the emitted light is usually longer than that of the incident light. Fluorochromes are substances that cause fluorescence in other substances, i.e., dyes used to mark or label other compounds with fluorescent tags.