Permeability characteristics of muscle membrane

S. E. Schwartz, J. M. Dietschy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Unidirectional flux rates of saturated fatty acids, saturated alcohols, and bile acids were measured in an intact rat diaphragm preparation. The logarithm of the permeability coefficients for fatty acids containing from five to ten carbon atoms was a linear function of the number of carbon atoms in the fatty acid chain. Incremental free energies of solution were +336 cal · mol−1 for the addition of a hydroxyl group and −258 cal · mol−1 for the addition of a methylene group. These incremental free energies were similar to those obtained by other investigators in other animal tissues, and our data suggest a structural similarity between membranes in different tissues and in different species. The muscle membrane exhibited anomalously high permeabilities for fatty acids containing less than five carbon atoms. Since muscle lacks tight junctions, this result suggests that small non-electrolytes traverse polar regions or aqueous pores within the cellular membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-973
Number of pages13
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980


  • Alcohol
  • Aqueous pore
  • Bile acid
  • Fatty acid
  • Muscle membrane
  • Permeability coefficient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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