CCN Intercellular Signaling Proteins: A family of secreted proteins found associated with the EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX and cell surface receptors. They are believed to play a role in modulating the effects of a variety of GROWTH FACTORS and PROTEASES at the cell membrane extracellular matrix. The CCN protein family is named after three protypical members; CYSTEINE-RICH PROTEIN 61; CONNECTIVE TISSUE GROWTH FACTOR; and NEPHROBLASTOMA OVEREXPRESSED PROTEIN.Nephroblastoma Overexpressed Protein: A CCN protein family member found at high levels in NEPHROBLASTOMA cells. It is found both intracellularly and in the EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX and may play a role in the regulation of CELL PROLIFERATION and EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX synthesis.Cysteine-Rich Protein 61: A CCN protein family member that regulates a variety of extracellular functions including CELL ADHESION; CELL MIGRATION; and EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX synthesis. It may play an important role in the development of branched CAPILLARIES during EMBRYOGENESIS.Connective Tissue Growth Factor: A CCN protein family member that regulates a variety of extracellular functions including CELL ADHESION; CELL MIGRATION; and EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX synthesis. It is found in hypertrophic CHONDROCYTES where it may play a role in CHONDROGENESIS and endochondral ossification.Immediate-Early Proteins: Proteins that are coded by immediate-early genes, in the absence of de novo protein synthesis. The term was originally used exclusively for viral regulatory proteins that were synthesized just after viral integration into the host cell. It is also used to describe cellular proteins which are synthesized immediately after the resting cell is stimulated by extracellular signals.Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins: Regulatory proteins and peptides that are signaling molecules involved in the process of PARACRINE COMMUNICATION. They are generally considered factors that are expressed by one cell and are responded to by receptors on another nearby cell. They are distinguished from HORMONES in that their actions are local rather than distal.Integrin alpha6beta1: A cell surface receptor mediating cell adhesion to the EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX and to other cells via binding to LAMININ. It is involved in cell migration, embryonic development, leukocyte activation and tumor cell invasiveness. Integrin alpha6beta1 is the major laminin receptor on PLATELETS; LEUKOCYTES; and many EPITHELIAL CELLS, and ligand binding may activate a number of signal transduction pathways. Alternative splicing of the cytoplasmic domain of the alpha6 subunit (INTEGRIN ALPHA6) results in the formation of A and B isoforms of the heterodimer, which are expressed in a tissue-specific manner.Fibromatosis, Gingival: Generalized or localized diffuse fibrous overgrowth of the gingival tissue, usually transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait, but some cases are idiopathic and others produced by drugs. The enlarged gingiva is pink, firm, and has a leather-like consistency with a minutely pebbled surface and in severe cases the teeth are almost completely covered and the enlargement projects into the oral vestibule. (Dorland, 28th ed)Integrin alpha5beta1: An integrin found in FIBROBLASTS; PLATELETS; MONOCYTES, and LYMPHOCYTES. Integrin alpha5beta1 is the classical receptor for FIBRONECTIN, but it also functions as a receptor for LAMININ and several other EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX PROTEINS.Integrin alphaVbeta3: An integrin that binds to a variety of plasma and extracellular matrix proteins containing the conserved RGD amino acid sequence and modulates cell adhesion. Integrin alphavbeta3 is highly expressed in OSTEOCLASTS where it may play role in BONE RESORPTION. It is also abundant in vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells, and in some tumor cells, where it is involved in angiogenesis and cell migration. Although often referred to as the vitronectin receptor there is more than one receptor for vitronectin (RECEPTORS, VITRONECTIN).Cell Adhesion: Adherence of cells to surfaces or to other cells.Connective Tissue Cells: A group of cells that includes FIBROBLASTS, cartilage cells, ADIPOCYTES, smooth muscle cells, and bone cells.Transforming Growth Factor beta: A factor synthesized in a wide variety of tissues. It acts synergistically with TGF-alpha in inducing phenotypic transformation and can also act as a negative autocrine growth factor. TGF-beta has a potential role in embryonal development, cellular differentiation, hormone secretion, and immune function. TGF-beta is found mostly as homodimer forms of separate gene products TGF-beta1, TGF-beta2 or TGF-beta3. Heterodimers composed of TGF-beta1 and 2 (TGF-beta1.2) or of TGF-beta2 and 3 (TGF-beta2.3) have been isolated. The TGF-beta proteins are synthesized as precursor proteins.Fibrosis: Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury.Fibroblasts: Connective tissue cells which secrete an extracellular matrix rich in collagen and other macromolecules.Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins: A family of soluble proteins that bind insulin-like growth factors and modulate their biological actions at the cellular level. (Int J Gynaecol Obstet 1992;39(1):3-9)Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Cell Movement: The movement of cells from one location to another. Distinguish from CYTOKINESIS which is the process of dividing the CYTOPLASM of a cell.Growth and Development: The series of changes to the shape, size, components, and functions of an individual organism that occur over time as the organism progresses from its initial form to full size and maturity.Ear Cartilage: Cartilage of the EAR AURICLE and the EXTERNAL EAR CANAL.Murinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the Old World MICE and RATS.Mesangial Cells: Smooth muscle-like cells adhering to the wall of the small blood vessels of the KIDNEY at the glomerulus and along the vascular pole of the glomerulus in the JUXTAGLOMERULAR APPARATUS. They are myofibroblasts with contractile and phagocytic properties. These cells and their MESANGIAL EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX constitute the GLOMERULAR MESANGIUM.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.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.Neovascularization, Physiologic: The development of new BLOOD VESSELS during the restoration of BLOOD CIRCULATION during the healing process.Smad3 Protein: A receptor-regulated smad protein that undergoes PHOSPHORYLATION by ACTIVIN RECEPTORS, TYPE I. Activated Smad3 can bind directly to DNA, and it regulates TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA and ACTIVIN signaling.Cell Proliferation: All of the processes involved in increasing CELL NUMBER including CELL DIVISION.Chondrocytes: Polymorphic cells that form cartilage.