Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Characterization of the distribution of spin-lattice relaxation rates of lipid spin labels in fiber cell plasma membranes of eye lenses with a stretched-exponential function. Appl Magn Reson 2019 Jul;50(7):903-918



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID





The stretched exponential function (SEF) was used to analyze and interpret saturation recovery (SR) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) data obtained from spin-labeled porcine eye-lens membranes. This function has two fitting parameters: the characteristic spin-lattice relaxation rate (T1str-1) and the stretching parameter (β), which ranges between zero and one. When β = 1, the function is a single exponential. It is assumed that the SEF arises from a distribution of single exponential functions, each described by a T1 value. Because T1-1s are determined primarily by the rotational diffusion of spin labels, they are a measure of membrane fluidity. Since β describes the distribution of T1-1s, it can be interpreted as a measure of membrane heterogeneity. The SEF was used to analyze SR data obtained from intact cortical and nuclear fiber cell plasma membranes extracted from the eye lenses of two-year old animals and spinlabeled with phospholipid- and cholesterol-analogs. The lipid environment sensed by these probe molecules was found to be less fluid and more heterogeneous in nuclear membranes than in cortical membranes. Parameters T1str-1 and β were also used for a multivariate K-means cluster analysis of stretched-exponential data. This analysis indicates that SEF data can be assigned accurately to clusters in nuclear or cortical membranes. In future work, the SEF will be applied to analyze data from human eye lenses of donors with differing health histories.

Author List

Stein N, Mainali L, Hyde JS, Subczynski WK


Witold K. Subczynski PhD Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin