Fish erythrocytes as a tool to study temperature-induced responses in plasma membranes

I. Dey, T. Szegletes, Cs Buda, J. Nemcsok, T. Farkas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


The dorsal aorta of carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) was cannulated, and the fish were kept in thermostated aquaria at 5°C for 24h. The water temperature was then gradually increased to 25°C at a rate of 0.5°C/h, and then decreased to 5°C at the same rate. Blood was withdrawn at five-degree intervals to determine the fluidity of erythrocyte plasma membranes upon ex vivo incorporation of the fluorescent dye, 3-[p-(6-phenyl-1,3,5-hexatrienyl)phenyl] propionic acid. Steady-state anisotropy (Rss) of the plasma membranes increased and decreased with the increase and decrease in water temperature, respectively. The sterol-to-phospholipid ratio remained unchanged throughout the thermal shifts. The fatty acid compositions of the total phospholipids, of phosphatidylcholine and of phosphatidylethanolamine remained virtually unchanged, except for the level of arachidonic acid, which increased in erythrocytes from fish at the higher temperature (25°C). The molecular species compositions of phosphatidylcholines and phosphatidylethanolamines also remained unaffected throughout the thermal shifts. The erythrocyte plasma membranes were more responsive to temperature shifts in vivo than in vitro when percent efficacy was compared. Thus, factors other than lipid changes are conceivably involved in the adaptation of erythrocyte plasma membranes to short-term thermal changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-746
Number of pages4
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology

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