Send to

Choose Destination
J Supramol Struct. 1978;9(3):299-326.

Spin label studies on rat liver and heart plasma membranes: effects of temperature, calcium, and lanthanum on membrane fluidity.


The structures of rat liver and heart plasma membranes were studied with the 5-nitroxide stearic acid spin probe, I(12,3). The polarity-corrected order parameters (S) of liver and heart plasma membranes were independent of probe concentration only if experimentally determined low I(12,3)/lipid ratios were employed. At higher probe/lipid ratios, the order parameters of both membrane systems decreased with increasing probe concentration, and these effects were attributed to enhanced nitroxide radical interactions. Examination of the temperature dependence of approximate and polarity-corrected order parameters indicated that lipid phase separations occur in liver (between 19 degrees and 28 degrees C) and heart (between 21 degrees and 32 degrees C) plasma membranes. The possibility that a wide variety of membrane-associated functions may be influenced by these thermotropic phase separations is considered. Addition of 3.9 mM CaCl2 to I(12,3)-labeled liver plasma membrane decreased the fluidity as indicated by a 5% increase in S at 37 degrees C. Similarly, titrating I(12,3)-labeled heart plasma membranes with either CaCl2 or LaCl3 decreased the lipid fluidity at 37 degrees C, although the magnitude of the La3+ effect was larger and occurred at lower concentrations than that induced by Ca2+; addition of 0.2 mM La3+ or 3.2 mM Ca2+ increased S by approximately 7% and 5%, respectively. The above cation effects reflected only alterations in the membrane fluidity and were not due to changes in probe--probe interactions. Ca2+ and La3+ at these concentrations decrease the activities of such plasma membrane enzymes as Na+, K+-ATPase and adenylyl cyclase, and it is suggested that the inhibition of these enzymes may be due in part to cation-mediated decreases in the lipid fluidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center