Desmosomes: A type of junction that attaches one cell to its neighbor. One of a number of differentiated regions which occur, for example, where the cytoplasmic membranes of adjacent epithelial cells are closely apposed. It consists of a circular region of each membrane together with associated intracellular microfilaments and an intercellular material which may include, for example, mucopolysaccharides. (From Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990; Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Macula Lutea: An oval area in the retina, 3 to 5 mm in diameter, usually located temporal to the posterior pole of the eye and slightly below the level of the optic disk. It is characterized by the presence of a yellow pigment diffusely permeating the inner layers, contains the fovea centralis in its center, and provides the best phototropic visual acuity. It is devoid of retinal blood vessels, except in its periphery, and receives nourishment from the choriocapillaris of the choroid. (From Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)Desmoplakins: Desmoplakins are cytoskeletal linker proteins that anchor INTERMEDIATE FILAMENTS to the PLASMA MEMBRANE at DESMOSOMES.Desmogleins: A group of desmosomal cadherins with cytoplasmic tails that resemble those of classical CADHERINS.Desmocollins: A group of desmosomal cadherins with cytoplasmic tails that are divergent from those of classical CADHERINS. Their intracytoplasmic domains bind PLAKOGLOBIN; PLAKOPHILINS; and DESMOPLAKINS.gamma Catenin: A multi-functional catenin that is highly homologous to BETA CATENIN. Gamma catenin binds CADHERINS and helps link their cytoplasmic tails to ACTIN in the CYTOSKELETON via ALPHA CATENIN. It is also found in DESMOSOMES where it mediates the link between DESMOSOMAL CADHERINS and DESMOPLAKIN.Plakophilins: Members of the armadillo family of proteins that are found in DESMOSOMES and interact with various proteins including desmocadherins; DESMOPLAKIN; ACTIN FILAMENTS; and KERATINS.Acoustic Maculae: The sensory areas on the vertical wall of the saccule and in the floor of the utricle. The hair cells in the maculae are innervated by fibers of the VESTIBULAR NERVE.Desmoglein 1: A desmosomal cadherin that is an autoantigen in the acquired skin disorder PEMPHIGUS FOLIACEUS.Desmoglein 3: A desmosomal cadherin that is an autoantigen in the acquired skin disorder PEMPHIGUS VULGARIS.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)Desmoglein 2: A CALCIUM-dependent adhesion molecule of DESMOSOMES that also plays a role in embryonic STEM CELL proliferation.Plakins: A family of related proteins that associate with cytoskeletal elements and junctional complexes at INTERCELLULAR JUNCTIONS. Plakins share a common plakin domain or a plakin repeat domain.Pemphigus: Group of chronic blistering diseases characterized histologically by ACANTHOLYSIS and blister formation within the EPIDERMIS.Intermediate Filaments: Cytoplasmic filaments intermediate in diameter (about 10 nanometers) between the microfilaments and the microtubules. They may be composed of any of a number of different proteins and form a ring around the cell nucleus.Cytoskeletal Proteins: Major constituent of the cytoskeleton found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. They form a flexible framework for the cell, provide attachment points for organelles and formed bodies, and make communication between parts of the cell possible.Desmosomal Cadherins: A single-pass transmembrane glycoproteins that mediate CALCIUM-dependent CELL ADHESION and are core components of DESMOSOMES.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Juxtaglomerular Apparatus: A complex of cells consisting of juxtaglomerular cells, extraglomerular mesangium lacis cells, the macula densa of the distal convoluted tubule, and granular epithelial peripolar cells. Juxtaglomerular cells are modified SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS found in the walls of afferent glomerular arterioles and sometimes the efferent arterioles. Extraglomerular mesangium lacis cells are located in the angle between the afferent and efferent glomerular arterioles. Granular epithelial peripolar cells are located at the angle of reflection of the parietal to visceral angle of the renal corpuscle.Kidney Tubules, Distal: The portion of renal tubule that begins from the enlarged segment of the ascending limb of the LOOP OF HENLE. It reenters the KIDNEY CORTEX and forms the convoluted segments of the distal tubule.Keratins: A class of fibrous proteins or scleroproteins that represents the principal constituent of EPIDERMIS; HAIR; NAILS; horny tissues, and the organic matrix of tooth ENAMEL. Two major conformational groups have been characterized, alpha-keratin, whose peptide backbone forms a coiled-coil alpha helical structure consisting of TYPE I KERATIN and a TYPE II KERATIN, and beta-keratin, whose backbone forms a zigzag or pleated sheet structure. alpha-Keratins have been classified into at least 20 subtypes. In addition multiple isoforms of subtypes have been found which may be due to GENE DUPLICATION.Epidermis: The external, nonvascular layer of the skin. It is made up, from within outward, of five layers of EPITHELIUM: (1) basal layer (stratum basale epidermidis); (2) spinous layer (stratum spinosum epidermidis); (3) granular layer (stratum granulosum epidermidis); (4) clear layer (stratum lucidum epidermidis); and (5) horny layer (stratum corneum epidermidis).Cadherins: Calcium-dependent cell adhesion proteins. They are important in the formation of ADHERENS JUNCTIONS between cells. Cadherins are classified by their distinct immunological and tissue specificities, either by letters (E- for epithelial, N- for neural, and P- for placental cadherins) or by numbers (cadherin-12 or N-cadherin 2 for brain-cadherin). Cadherins promote cell adhesion via a homophilic mechanism as in the construction of tissues and of the whole animal body.Epithelium: One or more layers of EPITHELIAL CELLS, supported by the basal lamina, which covers the inner or outer surfaces of the body.Acantholysis: Separation of the prickle cells of the stratum spinosum of the epidermis, resulting in atrophy of the prickle cell layer. It is seen in diseases such as pemphigus vulgaris (see PEMPHIGUS) and DARIER DISEASE.Cell Adhesion: Adherence of cells to surfaces or to other cells.Keratinocytes: Epidermal cells which synthesize keratin and undergo characteristic changes as they move upward from the basal layers of the epidermis to the cornified (horny) layer of the skin. Successive stages of differentiation of the keratinocytes forming the epidermal layers are basal cell, spinous or prickle cell, and the granular cell.Adherens Junctions: Anchoring points where the CYTOSKELETON of neighboring cells are connected to each other. They are composed of specialized areas of the plasma membrane where bundles of the ACTIN CYTOSKELETON attach to the membrane through the transmembrane linkers, CADHERINS, which in turn attach through their extracellular domains to cadherins in the neighboring cell membranes. In sheets of cells, they form into adhesion belts (zonula adherens) that go all the way around a cell.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.Epithelial Cells: Cells that line the inner and outer surfaces of the body by forming cellular layers (EPITHELIUM) or masses. Epithelial cells lining the SKIN; the MOUTH; the NOSE; and the ANAL CANAL derive from ectoderm; those lining the RESPIRATORY SYSTEM and the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM derive from endoderm; others (CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM and LYMPHATIC SYSTEM) derive from mesoderm. Epithelial cells can be classified mainly by cell shape and function into squamous, glandular and transitional epithelial cells.alpha Catenin: A catenin that binds F-ACTIN and links the CYTOSKELETON with BETA CATENIN and GAMMA CATENIN.Saccule and Utricle: Two membranous sacs within the vestibular labyrinth of the INNER EAR. The saccule communicates with COCHLEAR DUCT through the ductus reuniens, and communicates with utricle through the utriculosaccular duct from which the ENDOLYMPHATIC DUCT arises. The utricle and saccule have sensory areas (acoustic maculae) which are innervated by the VESTIBULAR NERVE.Tomography, Optical Coherence: An imaging method using LASERS that is used for mapping subsurface structure. When a reflective site in the sample is at the same optical path length (coherence) as the reference mirror, the detector observes interference fringes.Macular Degeneration: Degenerative changes in the RETINA usually of older adults which results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the MACULA LUTEA) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in dry and wet forms.Microscopy, Immunoelectron: Microscopy in which the samples are first stained immunocytochemically and then examined using an electron microscope. Immunoelectron microscopy is used extensively in diagnostic virology as part of very sensitive immunoassays.Retinal DiseasesArmadillo Domain Proteins: A family of proteins that contain several 42-amino acid repeat domains and are homologous to the Drosophila armadillo protein. They bind to other proteins through their armadillo domains and play a variety of roles in the CELL including SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION, regulation of DESMOSOME assembly, and CELL ADHESION.Cytoskeleton: The network of filaments, tubules, and interconnecting filamentous bridges which give shape, structure, and organization to the cytoplasm.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.Fluorescein Angiography: Visualization of a vascular system after intravenous injection of a fluorescein solution. The images may be photographed or televised. It is used especially in studying the retinal and uveal vasculature.Loop of Henle: The U-shaped portion of the renal tubule in the KIDNEY MEDULLA, consisting of a descending limb and an ascending limb. It is situated between the PROXIMAL KIDNEY TUBULE and the DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULE.Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)Bruch Membrane: The inner layer of CHOROID, also called the lamina basalis choroideae, located adjacent to the RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM; (RPE) of the EYE. It is a membrane composed of the basement membranes of the choriocapillaris ENDOTHELIUM and that of the RPE. The membrane stops at the OPTIC NERVE, as does the RPE.Tongue: A muscular organ in the mouth that is covered with pink tissue called mucosa, tiny bumps called papillae, and thousands of taste buds. The tongue is anchored to the mouth and is vital for chewing, swallowing, and for speech.Skin: The outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment. It is composed of the DERMIS and the EPIDERMIS.Plectin: A cytoskeletal linker protein with a molecular weight of greater than 500 kDa. It binds INTERMEDIATE FILAMENTS; MICROTUBULES; and ACTIN CYTOSKELETON and plays a central role in the organization and stability of the CYTOSKELETON. Plectin is phosphorylated by CALMODULIN KINASE; PROTEIN KINASE A; and PROTEIN KINASE C.Tight Junctions: Cell-cell junctions that seal adjacent epithelial cells together, preventing the passage of most dissolved molecules from one side of the epithelial sheet to the other. (Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, p22)Vimentin: An intermediate filament protein found in most differentiating cells, in cells grown in tissue culture, and in certain fully differentiated cells. Its insolubility suggests that it serves a structural function in the cytoplasm. MW 52,000.Visual Acuity: Clarity or sharpness of OCULAR VISION or the ability of the eye to see fine details. Visual acuity depends on the functions of RETINA, neuronal transmission, and the interpretative ability of the brain. Normal visual acuity is expressed as 20/20 indicating that one can see at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. Visual acuity can also be influenced by brightness, color, and contrast.Retinal Drusen: Colloid or hyaline bodies lying beneath the retinal pigment epithelium. They may occur either secondary to changes in the choroid that affect the pigment epithelium or as an autosomal dominant disorder of the retinal pigment epithelium.Fundus Oculi: The concave interior of the eye, consisting of the retina, the choroid, the sclera, the optic disk, and blood vessels, seen by means of the ophthalmoscope. (Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)Kidney Tubules: Long convoluted tubules in the nephrons. They collect filtrate from blood passing through the KIDNEY GLOMERULUS and process this filtrate into URINE. Each renal tubule consists of a BOWMAN CAPSULE; PROXIMAL KIDNEY TUBULE; LOOP OF HENLE; DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULE; and KIDNEY COLLECTING DUCT leading to the central cavity of the kidney (KIDNEY PELVIS) that connects to the URETER.Lutein: A xanthophyll found in the major LIGHT-HARVESTING PROTEIN COMPLEXES of plants. Dietary lutein accumulates in the MACULA LUTEA.Furosemide: A benzoic-sulfonamide-furan. It is a diuretic with fast onset and short duration that is used for EDEMA and chronic RENAL INSUFFICIENCY.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Kidney Glomerulus: A cluster of convoluted capillaries beginning at each nephric tubule in the kidney and held together by connective tissue.Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.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).Cell Adhesion Molecules: Surface ligands, usually glycoproteins, that mediate cell-to-cell adhesion. Their functions include the assembly and interconnection of various vertebrate systems, as well as maintenance of tissue integration, wound healing, morphogenic movements, cellular migrations, and metastasis.
  • HJMD is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by early hair loss heralding severe degenerative changes of the retinal macula and culminating in blindness during the second to third decade of life. (
  • Inside the cell E-cadherin binds to catenin, which in turn binds to other proteins in a protein complex with actin filaments Desmosomes connect two cells together structure: thickening of adjacent cell membrane, a pair of attachment plaques, transemembrane protein and tonofilaments. (
  • As we read, light is focused onto our macula where millions of cells change the light into nerve signals that tell the brain what we are seeing. (
  • m. communis the thickened area in the medial wall of the auditory vesicle that later subdivides to form the maculae of the sacculus and utriculus as well as the cristae of the ampullae of the semicircular ducts. (