The hypothesis was examined that arterial microsomal membrane fluidity is decreased in atherosclerosis. To investigate this hypothesis, the fluorescence anisotropy (r) of 1,6-diphenylhexa-1,3,5-triene was measured in aortic microsomes isolated from normal and atherosclerotic rabbits. A decrease in membrane fluidity, as indicated by a significant increase in r, was observed in microsomes from atherosclerotic rabbits. Notably, the increase in r occurred prior to macroscopic lesion development. The data support the hypothesis that membrane fluidity is decreased in atherosclerosis and indicate that this decrease occurs early in the atherogenic process. The hypothesis that decreased microsomal membrane fluidity contributes to the increased activity of acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) in atherosclerosis was also investigated. The hypothesis was rejected on the basis that enrichment of microsomes from normal rabbits with exogenous cholesterol to achieve r values equal to that of microsomes from atherosclerotic rabbits did not result in comparable ACAT activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry