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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1978 May 25;529(2):280-91.

Lipid adaptation in liver mitochondrial membranes of carp acclimated to different environmental temperatures: phospholipid composition, fatty acid pattern and cholesterol content.


The lipid fraction of liver mitochondria has been studied in carp acclimated to high and low environmental temperatures. Evidence is provided for a temperature-induced lipid adaptation which might control membrane fluidity. This supports suggestions made in a recent communication on temperature-induced changes in the Arrhenius functions of mitochondrial oxidase systems from carp liver ((Wodtke, E. (1976) J. Comp. Physiol. 110, 145--157). The results of the analysis of lipid composition are: the ratio of phospholipid to protein does not differ at cold and warm acclimation temperatures. Fish kept at low environmental temperature show a decreased molar ratio of cholesterol : phospholipid in mitochondrial membrane lipids; the diminished complexation renders phospholipids more sensitive to fluidity control by fatty acid substitution. A decrease of mitochondrial phosphatidylcholine at low acclimation temperature is observed, which is compensated by increased amounts of phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylinositol. This means there is an increase in the acidic character of the phospholipids at low environmental temperature, and might be the cause of fluidization of the membrane and a decrease in transition temperature. The fatty acid pattern of carp mitochondria differs markedly from that of mammalian mitochondria; it is not identical for total lipids, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, and is roughly characterized by high amounts in n--3, but low amounts in n--6 and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Low environmental temperature decreases the proportion of saturated species and markedly lowers the ratio of the alpha-linolenic acid family, the latter perhaps being caused by the increased activity of delta6-desaturase, as calculated for low acclimation temperature. An increase in mean unsaturation and in the proportion of 1,2-diunsaturated phospholipids most probably increases membrane fluidity at low acclimation temperature.

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