Lateral diffusion of cholesterol and dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine in a lipid bilayer measured by pulsed field gradient NMR spectroscopy

Biophys J. 2002 Nov;83(5):2702-4. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3495(02)75279-X.


The pulsed field gradient NMR method for measuring self-diffusion has been used for a direct determination of the lateral diffusion coefficient of cholesterol, fluorine labeled at the 6-position, for an oriented lamellar liquid-crystalline phase of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC)/cholesterol/water. It is found that the diffusion coefficients of DMPC and cholesterol are equal over a large temperature interval. The apparent energy of activation for the diffusion process (58 kJ/mol) is about the same as for a lamellar phase of DMPC/water, whereas the phospholipid lateral diffusion coefficient is approximately four times smaller in the presence of cholesterol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Cholesterol / chemistry*
  • Diffusion
  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine / chemistry*
  • Lipid Bilayers*
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Temperature


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Lipids
  • Cholesterol
  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine