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Biol Cell. 1988;62(1):11-5.

Membrane fluidity of Toxoplasma gondii: a fluorescence polarization study.

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Laboratoire de Biochimie, Angers, France.


Toxoplasma gondii membrane fluidity was investigated by fluorescence polarization. We used 1,6-diphenyl 1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) as a fluorescent hydrophobic probe. Fluorescence anisotropy (r) and degree of order (s) showed high fluidity properties. Chemical analysis was performed on this parasite. We found a low cholesterol/phospholipid ratio, many unsaturated fatty acids chains, and high phosphatidylcholine and low sphingomyelin amounts. These results were in good agreement with the observed high fluidity. This may be related to the great adaptability of Toxoplasma gondii in infesting a wide variety of host cells.

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