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Biol Cell. 1992;75(2):135-8.

Alterations in erythrocyte membrane fluidity in children with trisomy 21: a fluorescence study.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Ancona, Italy.


Membrane fluidity of erythrocytes obtained from 15 children with trisomy 21 and 20 healthy controls were studied by measuring steady-state fluorescence anisotropy and fluorescence lifetime of 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) and 1-(4-trimethylammoniumphenyl)-6-phenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (TMA-DPH) incorporated in hemoglobin-free erythrocyte membranes. Our results demonstrate a significant decrease in DPH fluorescence anisotropy and a significant increase in TMA-DPH fluorescence anistropy in erythrocytes from subjects with trisomy 21. No significant differences between the two groups were observed in the fluorescence lifetime of DPH and TMA-DPH. These data suggest an increase in membrane fluidity in the interior part of the membrane and a decrease in fluidity at the lipid-water interface region. This could be in part attributed to an increased oxidative damage in trisomy 21.

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