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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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    Abstract - Issue Sep 2008, 29 (5)                                     Back

Interactions between marine facultative epiphyte Chlamydomonas sp

Substituted phenols as pollutants that affect membrane fluidity


Claudia Nunes1, Celia Sousa1, Helena Ferreira1, Marlene Lucio1, Jose L.F.C. Lima1,

Joana Tavares2, Anabela Cordeiro-da-Silva2 and Salette Reis*1


1Requimte, Physical-Chemistry Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto,

Rua Anibal Cunha, 164, 4099-030 Porto, Portugal

2Departamento Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Pharmacy and IBMC - Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Porto Universidade do Porto., Rua Anibal Cunha, 164, 4099-030 Porto, Portugal


(Received: April 24, 2007; Revised received: June 06, 2007; Accepted: July 10, 2007)


Abstract: In a toxicological context, the cellular effects of a variety of molecular compounds interacting with membranes may be understood in terms of their ability to affect and modulate lipid-membrane physical properties and even slight changes in membrane fluidity may cause aberrant function and pathological processes. Different model systems (mice splenocytes and liposomes) have been used in modelling studies of the physical effects on lipid bilayers underlying the action of membrane active phenolic compounds, considered by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as priority pollutants (phenol; 2-chlorophenol; 2,4-dichlorophenol; 2,4,6-trichlorophenol; pentachlorophenol; 2-nitrophenol; 2,4-dinitrophenol; 2-methyl-4,6-dinitrophenol). Membrane fluidity was assessed by fluorescence steady-state anisotropy of a fluorescent probe 1,6-diphenil-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH). The substituted phenols increased the fluidity of cells and liposome membranes in a concentration dependent manner and the nitro substituted phenols were the most efficient perturbing the biophysical properties of the membrane. A good parallelism has been established between the results obtained with cell models and artificial liposome model systems, implying that liposomes are useful alternative systems in membrane modification studies and can be conveniently used in order to evaluate the potential toxic effect of phenol derivatives that are common environmental pollutants.


Key words:??? Phenols, Membrane fluidity, Fluorescence anisotropy, Liposomes, Splenocytes

PDF of full length paper is available with author (*


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