2014 Volume 63 Issue 11 Pages 1149-1157
The effect of cholesterol on the uptake of a fluorinated general anesthetic, sevoflurane (SF, fluoromethyl 2,2,2-trifluoro-1-[trifluoromethyl]ethyl ether) was studied by multinuclear, high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in combination with a pulsed-field gradient technique. Using large unilamellar vesicles of egg phosphatidylcholine/egg phosphatidylglycerol/cholesterol as model fluid cell membranes, the 19F and 1H NMR chemical shifts, longitudinal relaxation times (T1), and diffusion coefficients (Deff) were systematically analyzed to quantify the modulation of SF uptake to the lipid membrane by cholesterol. All NMR parameters (chemical shift, T1, and Deff) showed that SF uptake is limited by the presence of cholesterol in the membrane. It was found that SF uptake at 40 mol% cholesterol is limited to 50%–60% of the partitioning fraction in the absence of cholesterol in the membrane. This finding is attributed to the loss of motional freedom in the rigid membrane environment, as demonstrated by the gradual slowdown of lipid mobility Deff with increase in cholesterol concentration from 0 mol% to 40 mol%.