Physical properties of murine fibroblasts with altered acyl chain unsaturation Academic Article uri icon


  • Murine fibroblasts, LM cells, were cultured in suspension with laurate (12:0), myristate (14:0), palmitate (16:0), palmitoleate (16:1), or palmitate + palmitoleate (16:0 + 16:1) bound to fatty acid-free bovine serum albumin. Supplementation with saturated fatty acids decreased the ratio of unsaturated/saturated fatty acids in membrane phospholipids as much as 3.4-fold (palmitate-enriched cells). Concomitantly fluorescence polarization, absorption-corrected fluorescence, and relative fluorescence efficiency of the fluorescence probe molecule, β-parinaric acid, increased 1.5-, 2.9-, and 1.8-fold, respectively, in the membrane phospholipids. Unsaturated fatty acid (palmitoleate) increased the unsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratio by 20% but did not significantly alter the fluorescence parameters. When the cells were fed mixtures of palmitate and palmitoleate, the unsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratio of the membrane phospholipids and the above fluorescence parameters had values intermediate between those if each fatty acid had been fed separately. All fatty acid supplements caused a loss of two characteristic temperatures in Arrhenius plots of relative fluorescence efficiency. However, no shifts or appearance of new characteristic temperatures occurred. The break points at approximately 42, 37, and 22 °C were essentially un-altered. The data were consistent with the possibility that LM cells were unable to maintain constant fluidity, as indicated by fluorescence polarization, when supplemented with different fatty acids. A good correlation could be made between the phospholipid unsaturated/ saturated fatty ratio, the fluorescence polarization, and the toxicity elicited by different fatty acid supplements. © 1979.

author list (cited authors)

  • Schroeder, F., Holland, J. F., & Doi, O.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Schroeder, F||Holland, JF||Doi, O

publication date

  • May 1979