Temperature shifts induce adaptive changes in the physical state of carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) erythrocyte plasma membranes in vitro

Indranil Dey, Tibor Farkas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Blood, freshly collected from warm- and cold-acclimated carp, Cyprinus carpio L., was cooled to 5°C for 4h or warmed to 25°C for 4h, respectively, and the fluorescence anisotropy of washed red blood cells was recorded using the fluorescent dye 3-(p-(6-phenyl-1,3,5-hexatrienyl) phenyl propionic acid [DPH-PA] (which is restricted to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane) before and after the temperature shift. Despite individual variation, the plasma membrane of cold-exposed erythrocytes became more fluid while that of warm-exposed cells became more rigid following the temperature shift. This response was rapid and reversible. Cold-exposed cells from warm-acclimated fish became more fluid within 40-60 minutes and reverted to their original fluidity within the same time on warming, at a rate of 1°C/min; erythrocytes, from cold-adapted carp displayed an opposite change in fluidity over a similar time period. Cells from warm-acclimated, temperature down-shifted carp hyperfluidized their plasma membranes in the cold, whereas cells from cold-acclimated fish up-shifted in temperature showed no similar effect. These cells showed a complete adjustment of membrane physical state to the temperature. Total phospholipids obtained from warm-acclimated temperature down-shifted cells became more rigid than they were, when assayed at the acclimation temperature. In contrast, phospholipids obtained from cold-acclimated cells became more rigid when exposed to increasing temperatures. No significant changes occurred to the polar head groups, or to the fatty acid composition of the total phospholipids. It was concluded that the lipids play only a secondary role in the control of the physical state of plasma membrane in carp erythrocytes, and that some non-lipid components of these structures might be involved in these regulatory processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-355
Number of pages9
JournalFish Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1992



  • erythrocytes
  • fatty acids
  • membrane fluidity
  • phospholipids
  • plasma membrane
  • temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this