Area of Applied Biophysics, Centro de Investigaciones en Biofísica Aplicada y Alimentos, (CIBAAL) (National University of Santiago del Estero-CONICET), 4206, RN 9 - Km 1125, Santiago del Estero, Argentina. Electronic address: [Email]
Comparison of the behavior of Laurdan in gel and in the liquid crystalline DPPC bilayers with that observed in chloroform and OctOH allow concluding that changes in the membrane lipid order cannot be ascribed to changes in viscosity of the local environment. Cholesterol acts as a spacer below the transition temperature of DPPC, promoting a disorder state in the acyl chain region. No evidence of water entrance has been detected with Laurdan up to 30% Cholesterol in DPPC in this condition. In contrast, Chol displaces to longer values the wavelength of Laurdan in membranes in the liquid crystalline state. This decrease in polarity occurs above 5% Chol and is directly related to the water extrusion produced by Chol. This effect is similar to that occurring in liquid crystalline membranes subjected to hypertonic stress. The behavior is comparable to that of Laurdan in OctOH at different water ratios below 5% Chol/DPPC. At higher ratios, other changes are evident.