Fluidity in the membranes of adult and neonatal human erythrocytes

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Science  04 Feb 1977:
Vol. 195, Issue 4277, pp. 486-487
DOI: 10.1126/science.835005


Several antigens and receptors are mobile in the plane of the membrane of the intact neonatal human erythrocyte but not in the membrane of the normal adult cell. In this report, measurements of the fluorescence polarization of perylene dissolved in isolated erythrocyte membranes are reported, which are indistinguishable for the two kinds of cells. This result indicates that the viscosities of the membrane interiors of the two cells are the same. The observed mobility differences, therefore, cannot be attributed to different lipid viscosities in the two membranes.