Effect of endotoxin on lipid order and motion in erythrocyte membranes

D. Allan Butterfield, Bin Sun, Srithal Bellary, Warwick A. Arden, Kimberly Ward Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Electron paramagnetic resonance employing a lipid-specific spin label has been used to investigate the molecular effects of endotoxin on the physical state of bilayer lipids in rat erythrocyte membranes. When added at a concentration as low as 40 μg/ml to whole blood (plasma plus leukocytes present), decreased membrane lipid motion was found in subsequently washed and spin-labeled intact erythrocytes (P < 0.02). However, if endotoxin were added to washed, plasma plus leukocyte-free intact erythrocytes, no change in the motion of the spin label was found, suggesting that plasma-soluble substances and/or leukocytes are required to produce the change in the physical state of lipids. The decreased lipid motion found in these studies is discussed with reference to the known decreased deformability of endotoxin-treated red cells and to the pathogenesis of sepsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-234
Number of pages4
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 11 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from NSF \[EHR-9108764\] (D.A.B. and K.W.A.), \[CTS-9157856\] (K.W.A.) and NIH \[AG-10836\] (D.A.B.), \[HL-02918\] (W.A.A.).


  • 5-doxylstearic acid
  • Endotoxin
  • Lipid fluidity
  • Sepsis
  • Spin labeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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