Membrane fluidity of platelets and erythrocytes in patients with Alzheimer's disease and the effect of small amounts of aluminium on platelet and erythrocyte membranes

Van Rensburg S.J. ; Carstens M.E. ; Potocnik F.C.V. ; Aucamp A.K. ; Taljaard J.J.F. ; Koch K.R. (1992)


The membrane fluidity of platelet and erythrocyte membranes in 10 Alzheimer's disease patients and 9 age-matched controls was studied. The platelet membranes of patients with Alzheimer's disease were found to be significantly more fluid than those of controls (p <0.02). However, erythrocyte membranes of Alzheimer patients were less fluid (more viscous) than those of controls (p <0.05). On further investigation of platelet and erythrocyte membranes obtained from healthy volunteers, the fluidity was found to change with increasing aluminium concentrations. When aluminium ammonium sulphate (0.01 - 10 μM) was added to membrane suspensions, the fluidity of platelet membranes was increased, whereas the fluidity of erythrocyte membranes was decreased (i.e. the microviscosity was increased).

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