A 2D-ELDOR study of the liquid ordered phase in multilamellar vesicle membranes.
2D-ELDOR spectroscopy has been employed to study the dynamic structure of the liquid-ordered (Lo) phase versus that of the liquid-crystalline (Lc) phase in multibilayer phospholipid vesicles without (Lc) and with (Lo) cholesterol, using end-chain and headgroup labels and spin-labeled cholestane. The spectra are in most cases found to be dramatically different for these two phases. Thus, visual inspection of the 2D-ELDOR spectra provides a convenient way to distinguish the two phases in membranes. Detailed analysis shows these observations are due to increased ordering in the Lo phase and modified reorientation rates. In the Lo phase, acyl chains undergo a faster rotational diffusion and higher ordering than in the Lc phase, whereas spin-labeled cholestane exhibits slower rotational diffusion and higher ordering. On the other hand, the choline headgroup in the Lo phase exhibits faster motion and reduced but realigned ordering versus the Lc phase. The microscopic translational diffusion rates in the Lo phase are significantly reduced in the presence of cholesterol. These results are compared with previous studies, and a consistent model is provided for interpreting them in terms of the differences in the dynamic structure of the Lo and Lc phases.