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Connexins: A group of homologous proteins which form the intermembrane channels of GAP JUNCTIONS. The connexins are the products of an identified gene family which has both highly conserved and highly divergent regions. The variety contributes to the wide range of functional properties of gap junctions.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.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.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.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.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)Eye ProteinsCarbenoxolone: 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.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.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).Botany: The study of the origin, structure, development, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of plants.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.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.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.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.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.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)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.Xenopus: An aquatic genus of the family, Pipidae, occurring in Africa and distinguished by having black horny claws on three inner hind toes.Mitragyna: A plant genus of the family RUBIACEAE. Members contain antimalarial (ANTIMALARIALS) and analgesic (ANALGESICS) indole alkaloids.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.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.Xenopus laevis: The commonest and widest ranging species of the clawed "frog" (Xenopus) in Africa. This species is used extensively in research. There is now a significant population in California derived from escaped laboratory animals.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.Heptanol: A colorless liquid with a fragrant odor. It is used as an intermediate, solvent and in cosmetics.