Static and dynamic components of renal cortical brush border and basolateral membrane fluidity: Role of cholesterol

Bruce A. Molitoris, Catherine Hoilien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Static polarization and differential polarized phase fluorimetry studies on rat renal cortical brush border (BBM) and basolateral membranes (BLM) were undertaken to determine the membrane components responsible for differences in BBM and BLM fluidity, whether these differences were due to the order or dynamic components of membrane fluidity and if a fluidity gradient existed within the bilayer. Surface membrane proteins rigidified both BBM and BLM fluidity. Neutral lipid extraction, on the other hand, caused a larger decrease in BBM than BLM fluorescence polarization (0.104 vs. 0.60, P<0.01) using diphenyl hexatriene (DPH). Cholesterol addition to phospholipid fractions restored membrane fluidity to total lipid values in both BBM and BLM phospholipids. The response to cholesterol in the BBM was biphasic, while the BLM response was linear. Lateral mobility, quantitated using dipyrenylpropane, was similar in both BBM and BLM fractions at 35°C. BBM and BLM differed primarily in the order component of membrane fluidity as DPH-limiting anisotropy (rα) (0.212 vs. 0.154, P<0.01) differed markedly between the two membrane fractions. The two membrane components also differed with respect to 2 and 12-anthroyloxy stearate (2-AS, 12-AS) probes, indicating a difference in the dynamic component of membrane fluidity may also be present. DPH and 12-As probes were also used to quantitate inner core membrane fluidity and showed the BBM was less fluid than the BLM for intact membranes, total lipid extracts and phospholipids. Results obtained using the surface membrane probes trimethylammonium-DPH (TMA-DPH) and 2-AS suggested a fluidity gradient existed in both BBM and BLM bilayers with the inner core being more fluid in both membranes. These data indicate cholesterol is in large part responsible for fluidity differences between BBM and BLM and that these membranes, while clearly differing in the order component of membrane fluidity, may also difer in the dynamic component as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Membrane Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • basolateral membranes
  • brush border membranes
  • cholesterol
  • fluorescence polarization
  • renal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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