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ABSTRACT: The present work compares a series of results obtained by [Lasalde et al., 1992] and [Lasalde & Zuazaga, 1991] in order to show the potential use of the patch clamp methodology in combination with fluorescence polarization spectroscopy
to study lipid induced alterations of a biological membrane and its effect at the single channel level. The system selected
for this particular study was chick myocytes in culture since this preparation contains only one acethylcholine receptor (AChR)
channel conductance (50 pS) and cells can be grown at high density attached to glass. Diphenylhexatriene (DPH) was the probe
used to perform membrane microviscosity estimations and lifetimes by the phase demodulation method. The results of fluorescence
polarization suggest that after cholesterol enrichement there is more than one lipid microenvironment in the plasma membrane
of these cells. The patch clamp data from cholesterol enriched myocytes showed a heterogeneous distribution of AChR channels.
Both results suggest that the current from a single AChR channel opening can sense dramatic changes in the normal lipid compositions
of the cell membrane.
07/2011: pages 199-212;