Decreased membrane fluidity and β-adrenergic responsiveness in atherosclerotic quail

K. G. Lurie, J. H. Chin, B. B. Hoffman

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The effects of increased cholesterol on erythrocyte membrane fluidity and β-adrenergic function were stuided in a quail model of atherosclerosis. Birds fed a cholesterol-supplemented diet developed severe atherosclerosis and hypercholeserolemia after 6 wk. This cholesterol-enriched diet led to a markedly elevated serum cholesterol and a 26% increase in the cholesterol-to-phospholipid ratio in erythrocyte membranes. Electron paramagnetic resonance spectra measured with 5- and 12-doxyl-stearic acid spin-label probes were used to estimate the order of quail erythrocyte membranes. Membrane preparations from cholesterol-fed birds were more highly ordered near the membrane leaflet surface, as well as deeper in the membrane interior, compared with controls. β-Adrenergic receptor stimulation of adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate accumulation was blunted in erythrocytes from the hypercholesterolemic quail. There was no change in β-receptor density or affinity in the cholesterol-enriched membranes. These studies demonstrate that cholesterol incorporation into erythrocyte membranes in vivo is associated with decreased membrane fluidity and decreased β-adrenergic responsiveness. The atherosclerotic quail may serve as a useful model to further probe the sequelae of hypercholesterolemia on the function of integral membrane proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985


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