García-Arribas…Goñi {Langmuir 32: 9053}

Ceramide-Induced Lamellar Gel Phases in Fluid Cell Lipid Extracts. Langmuir. 2016 Sep 6;32(35):9053-63. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b01579.
We have studied lipid bilayers obtained from human red blood cell extracts, and the effect of incorporating a long-chain ceramide (palmitoyl ceramide, pCer) into them. The bilayers have been examined using atomic force microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. Gel-like phase domains are generated by the presence of pCer at high mol ratios (around 30 mol% pCer) and cause an increase in bilayer thickness and nanomechanical resistance. Furthermore, cholesterol (Chol) depletion of the system causes the domains to stiffen even more, demonstrating that Chol was an integral part of the domains and that no Cer-Chol displacement events were present. These experiments speak in favour of the possibility of lipid gel domains enriched in both Chol and pCer in cellular environments