We investigated the effects of the interaction between flavanols and related procyanidins (dimer to hexamer) with both cell and synthetic membranes, on bilayer fluidity and susceptibility to oxidation.Cocoa derived dimers (0.05 to 1 microg/ml) protected Jurkat T cells from AMVN-mediated oxidation and increased plasma membrane fluidity. These effects occurred in a concentration- and chain length-dependent manner. In liposomes, procyanidins prevented the Fe2+ -induced permeabilization of the membrane. Together, these results support the hypothesis that procyanidins could interact with the polar headgroup of lipids, increasing membrane fluidity and also, preventing the access of molecules that could affect membrane integrity.
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