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.Color Therapy: A form of phototherapy using color to influence health and to treat various physical or mental disorders. The color rays may be in the visible or invisible spectrum and can be administered through colored lights or applied mentally through suggestion.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)Deafness: 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.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).Edar-Associated Death Domain Protein: A tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor that acts as a specific signaling adaptor protein for the EDAR RECEPTOR and plays an important role in ectodermal development. It binds to edar receptor via its C-terminal death domain region and to other specific TNF receptor-associated factors via its N-terminal domain. Loss of function of edar-associated death domain protein is associated with AUTOSOMAL RECESSIVE ANHIDROTIC ECTODERMAL DYSPLASIA.Absorptiometry, Photon: A noninvasive method for assessing BODY COMPOSITION. It is based on the differential absorption of X-RAYS (or GAMMA RAYS) by different tissues such as bone, fat and other soft tissues. The source of (X-ray or gamma-ray) photon beam is generated either from radioisotopes such as GADOLINIUM 153, IODINE 125, or Americanium 241 which emit GAMMA RAYS in the appropriate range; or from an X-ray tube which produces X-RAYS in the desired range. It is primarily used for quantitating BONE MINERAL CONTENT, especially for the diagnosis of OSTEOPOROSIS, and also in measuring BONE MINERALIZATION.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.Chemokine CX3CL1: A CX3C chemokine that is a transmembrane protein found on the surface of cells. The soluble form of chemokine CX3CL1 can be released from cell surface by proteolysis and act as a chemoattractant that may be involved in the extravasation of leukocytes into inflamed tissues. The membrane form of the protein may also play a role in cell adhesion.Patch-Clamp Techniques: An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.Sucrose: A nonreducing disaccharide composed of GLUCOSE and FRUCTOSE linked via their anomeric carbons. It is obtained commercially from SUGARCANE, sugar beet (BETA VULGARIS), and other plants and used extensively as a food and a sweetener.Membrane Potentials: The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).Potassium Channels: Cell membrane glycoproteins that are selectively permeable to potassium ions. At least eight major groups of K channels exist and they are made up of dozens of different subunits.Tissue Engineering: Generating tissue in vitro for clinical applications, such as replacing wounded tissues or impaired organs. The use of TISSUE SCAFFOLDING enables the generation of complex multi-layered tissues and tissue structures.Decanoates: Salts and esters of the 10-carbon monocarboxylic acid-decanoic acid.Tissue Scaffolds: Cell growth support structures composed of BIOCOMPATIBLE MATERIALS. They are specially designed solid support matrices for cell attachment in TISSUE ENGINEERING and GUIDED TISSUE REGENERATION uses.Hydrogel: A network of cross-linked hydrophilic macromolecules used in biomedical applications.Fibrin: A protein derived from FIBRINOGEN in the presence of THROMBIN, which forms part of the blood clot.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.Hypertension: Persistently high systemic arterial BLOOD PRESSURE. Based on multiple readings (BLOOD PRESSURE DETERMINATION), hypertension is currently defined as when SYSTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently greater than 140 mm Hg or when DIASTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently 90 mm Hg or more.Renin: A highly specific (Leu-Leu) endopeptidase that generates ANGIOTENSIN I from its precursor ANGIOTENSINOGEN, leading to a cascade of reactions which elevate BLOOD PRESSURE and increase sodium retention by the kidney in the RENIN-ANGIOTENSIN SYSTEM. The enzyme was formerly listed as EC 3.4.99.19.Blood Pressure: PRESSURE of the BLOOD on the ARTERIES and other BLOOD VESSELS.Angiotensinogen: An alpha-globulin of about 453 amino acids, depending on the species. It is produced by the liver and secreted into blood circulation. Angiotensinogen is the inactive precursor of natural angiotensins. Upon successive enzyme cleavages, angiotensinogen yields angiotensin I, II, and III with amino acids numbered at 10, 8, and 7, respectively.Renin-Angiotensin System: A BLOOD PRESSURE regulating system of interacting components that include RENIN; ANGIOTENSINOGEN; ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME; ANGIOTENSIN I; ANGIOTENSIN II; and angiotensinase. Renin, an enzyme produced in the kidney, acts on angiotensinogen, an alpha-2 globulin produced by the liver, forming ANGIOTENSIN I. Angiotensin-converting enzyme, contained in the lung, acts on angiotensin I in the plasma converting it to ANGIOTENSIN II, an extremely powerful vasoconstrictor. Angiotensin II causes contraction of the arteriolar and renal VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE, leading to retention of salt and water in the KIDNEY and increased arterial blood pressure. In addition, angiotensin II stimulates the release of ALDOSTERONE from the ADRENAL CORTEX, which in turn also increases salt and water retention in the kidney. Angiotensin-converting enzyme also breaks down BRADYKININ, a powerful vasodilator and component of the KALLIKREIN-KININ SYSTEM.Angiotensin II: An octapeptide that is a potent but labile vasoconstrictor. It is produced from angiotensin I after the removal of two amino acids at the C-terminal by ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME. The amino acid in position 5 varies in different species. To block VASOCONSTRICTION and HYPERTENSION effect of angiotensin II, patients are often treated with ACE INHIBITORS or with ANGIOTENSIN II TYPE 1 RECEPTOR BLOCKERS.