Gap junctions are intercellular channels that allow diffusion of small solutes and ions between adjoining cells. This intercellular exchange enables intercellular communication of specific signals and metabolic products that promote coordination of multicellular function. In blood vessels, gap junctions have been implicated in such diverse functions as regulation of vascular tone, transendothelial cell migration, and the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Here we focus on some essential principles of gap junctional function in the vascular bed.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.