PMID: 6988766Apr 1, 1980Paper

Changes in the membrane microviscosity of mouse red blood cells infected with Plasmodium berghei detected using n-(9-anthroyloxy) fatty acid fluorescent probes

R J Howard, W H Sawyer


A set of n-(9-anthroyloxy) fatty acids (n = 2, 6, 9, 12, 16) have been used as fluorescent probes to examine the lipid environment at different depths in the outer membrane of normal mouse erythrocytes and red blood cells from Plasmodium berghei-infected blood. Fluorescent polarization experiments with normal mouse erythrocytes have demonstrated a typical gradient in microviscosity from the surface to the centre of the bilayer as a consequence of the motional properties of the C-atoms of the phospholipid acyl chains. The fluorescent probes rotate faster in the membrane of purified pluriparasitized cells (greater than 90% purity) than with the remaining fraction of red blood cells from infected blood (20--40% immature, infected red cells, and uninfected red cells), or normal mouse erythrocytes. This increase in fluidity with heavily infected cells occurs predominantly at the centre of the lipid bilayer, rather than at the membrane surface. A comparison of the polarization values of intact and lysed infected cells indicates that the fluorescent fatty acids preferentially label the plasma membrane rather than the internal membranes of infected cells. The results suggest that P. berghei infection causes a change in the composition ...Continue Reading


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Red Cell Ghost
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