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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2012 Apr;237(4):372-9. doi: 10.1258/ebm.2011.011311. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Composition of molecular cardiolipin species correlates with proliferation of lymphocytes.

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Department of Pathobiochemistry, Medical Faculty, Institute of Clinical Chemistry, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, D-39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


The mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin (CL) is required for oxidative phosphorylation. Oxidation of CL results in the disruption of CL-cytochrome c binding and the induction of apoptosis. Large variations in the acyl-chain residues of CL have been reported, but evidence as to whether these variants exert distinct biological effects has been limited. We have studied the acyl-chain composition of CL in lymphocytes, and found marked differences between highly and slowly proliferating cells. In fast growing cells, we detected a decreased number of double bonds, and a higher amount of C16 acyl-chain residues in CL, compared with slower growing cells. However, fewer C18 acyl-chain residues were found in CL from fast growing cells compared with slower proliferating cells. Our results suggest a functional link between acyl-chain composition of CL and cell proliferation.

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